Find OutThe Why
Our veterans understand that they protect each other on and off the battlefield. Veterans of every era deserve the respect and support of the nation they fought to protect.
The reason for "The Return" found below, comes directly from Ed Lewis, our founder.
Vietnam Veteran, two words that carry different history and memories. When you say, “Vietnam Veteran”, you are referring to all who served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Military personnel were assigned in Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand along with those who served on the waters. It was a period of time that had our country divided. There has been enough said, printed and reported about the negative actions that happened against Vietnam and its people. But, who paid the ultimate price? Who was ridiculed, spit on, had eggs thrown at them and called baby killers? Who was told not to travel in uniform in their own country for their own safety?
The pride and honor that they were told was part of being a solider, the history and honor that was established by the Veterans who preceded them and the love of their country was their greatest reward. How were they supposed to feel any of those things when they were treated and looked upon with disrespect?
On March 29, 2012 a Presidential Proclamation was signed to establish that date as Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran’s Day. And what happened when that date arrived? Some cities observed it but what did our government do? Was this another example of not recognizing them? They didn’t ask for their own day. There is no WW1, WW2 or Korea Day, there’s Veterans Day but are they not invited? What about the Vietnam Memorial Wall?
This was the memorial that no one wanted built except the Veterans. It’s often referred to as the 4th battle for the Vietnam Veterans. The 1st being survival in Southeast Asia. The 2nd was dealing with the rejection experienced upon returning home from war; the 3rd is the battle within; and the 4th was building the Wall. Every dollar spent on its construction was raised by Veterans. Even still today, it is veterans who raise funds to maintain this monument.
"When your country called, you came. When your country refused you honor, you remained silent. With time, our nation’s wounds have healed. We have finally come to appreciate your sacrifices and to pay you the tribute you so richly deserve."
It’s time for all of us to show the respect and appreciation to ALL who served in Southeast Asia. Soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice in each of these areas. Why is it only when a Veteran passes away, in most cases, they get respect and the recognition for their sacrifice by having a flag draped over their casket and taps played during the ceremony? At the end of the ceremony the flag is folded and presented to the family. A statement is said with one of the lines being “On behalf of a grateful nation”. Isn’t that too late, shouldn’t that have been said to the Veteran?
Veteran’s organizations and groups do their best but again its Veterans helping Veterans, that’s the brotherhood. They share the memories, good and bad, of being part of history and of war. Among some people there is an opinion that it’s enough for Veterans to take care of each other.