As an American Soldier who was privileged to serve others and our Nation for 37 years, I have experienced on countless occasions people’s expressions of appreciation for my military service. It is always an immensely humbling experience that truly warms the heart.
Unfortunately, such personal displays of unexpected kindness have not always been shown to some U.S. military members. It has long been acknowledged, and I witnessed it firsthand with my father, that those who returned from the Vietnam War didn’t always receive a hero’s welcome. While we can’t travel back in time to make those wrongs right, we can take time today to honor those who served in the Vietnam War.
The date, March 29 of every year, has been designated by the U.S. Congress and our President as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. It was on this date back in 1973, almost fifty years ago, when all remaining U.S. troops were withdrawn from Vietnam – two decades after the war began.
It is never too late to thank a Vietnam War veteran in our community and across our nation for their service and their sacrifice. On this day, Sunday, March 29, may we pause to recognize and to honor the men and women who served in the Vietnam War. May we also take time today to remember the POWs and MIAs of the Vietnam War, as well as their families.
We are blessed to live in a town that offers a number of ways to reach out to and to give back to Vietnam War veterans. Volunteer at the Georgia War Veterans Home or at Comfort Farms. Visit the Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery, which features an avenue of flags and places flags on gravesites for special occasions such as Veterans Day. Visit a Vietnam War memorial, which includes ours here on our Milledgeville campus.
In addition to each of these Milledgeville locations, on this day make sure to take time to thank and to spend time with family members and friends who are Vietnam War veterans. Let them know how much they and their military service truly mean to you. Gratitude and thanks don’t have an expiration date and they never go out of style. Know that your kind words will really mean a lot to them, even – and especially – today.