Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Thank You Vietnam Veterans

 March 29th is National Vietnam War Veterans Day.   I want to thank all those who served in that war and give them the honor and recognition they so deserve and didn't receive back in the day when coming home from that conflict.  My brother Greg served in the Marines and went to Vietnam.  My older brother Phil also served at that time and was in the Army and stationed in Thailand.  They both served faithfully and honorably and came home safely.  It was a difficult time for my parents. My Dad served in WWII and knew what they would be going through.  My Mom worried again for her children as she did for her brothers and my Dad when they went to war.  I was a freshman in high school.  Although absorbed in my early teen life I still held my breath also those 2 years until they returned.  Many prayers went up for them.   Last weekend Jack and I were privileged to attend a Vietnam Era Veterans reunion.  We attended one last year where an Army nurse who served in Vietnam was the keynote speaker.  This year it was Colonel Robert Springer who grew up in Ashland and was a fighter pilot in the Marines and went on to become a NASA  Astronaut.  His talk was about his service and duties performed in Vietnam.  So inspiring, so moving and so much a hero in everyone's eyes. He was a Bird Dog and Huey Pilot and flew 250 missions. 

Also mentioned in the program were Veterans who have passed away.  I was touched to see my brother Greg's name on there thanks to our good friend Greg Gorrell who was one of the program's organizers. Jack and I felt funny attending since we hadn't served in the military but Greg assured us it was OK as we were representing my brother who passed away 2 years ago this June.  I know my brother would have loved to attend something like this and feel the warmth and welcome the Vets who were there were feeling.  It was a touching evening and I'm so glad we could be there.   Also featured was a painting by a local artist, Robert Kent Halladay.  Mr. Halladay was a Marine Combat artist who painted this work of art for those heroes who lost their lives.  It's called: "Going Home"
It depicts 2 angels carrying a soldier "home" as all his war gear is shown leaving him as he's taken. Such a wonderful work of art and very moving to all the Veterans who saw it.  Everyone was given a small picture to take home.  I know it's a little late now to say thanks on this day but I think any day is a good day to shake the hand of a veteran and say thank you.  Don't hesitate to do so.  


Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, YaYa!

Thank you for calling our attention to this important date on the calendar, National Vietnam War Veterans Day. I also appreciate you reminding us of the members of your family who served in foreign wars, how much they gave and sacrificed for their country and how much anxiety you and your mother experienced while they were over there in harm's way. I have not forgotten your brother Greg, nor will the Veterans. It was appropriate for you and Jack to attend the Vietnam Era Veterans reunion on his behalf. I am sure it was inspiring to hear the keynote address by Colonel Robert Springer, the Marine fighter pilot who became an astronaut. There's the "coming home" soldier, and then there are all those "Going Home," soldiers, and that painting is a brilliant illustration of the latter.

Thank you for remembering those brave souls. for supporting them and for giving them the honor and respect many of them did not get during the Vietnam conflict. Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend YaYa!

TheCrankyCrow said...

I was not aware there was such a remembrance day, so thank you for mentioning it. Yes, it's never too late to thank those who served - or the families they left behind. Wonderful work of art. ~Robin~

Julia said...

Like Robin, I was not aware of this remembrance day and I'm glad that you were there to represent your brother Greg, your dad, and your other brother, and to remind us of gratitude for those who served to make the world a better place. I can't imagine the worries your mother must have had for her beloved husband and sons.

Take care and enjoy the awakening spring.

Deb J. in Utah said...

I completely agree! We owe much to those who protect our country and keep us free.

Kay G. said...

Thankful for the Vietnam veterans. Whenever I see one, I DO shake their hand!!!

Prims By The Water said...

Glad you were there for your brother. Those who served did not get the parades when coming home like they should have and it was such a shame. My uncle served in the Vietnam War. Vey thankful and proud for all of our veterans past and present. Janice

Susan Kane said...

Thanks for posting this. I was a junior in high school when my math/trigonometry teacher walked in an told us that a man from my hometown had been killed. Until then Vietnam was so far away. Then, as the next years went by, more boys from our small county were reported, and my cousin Billy soon after. Yesterday I shook the hand of a Veteran who had been in the artillery.

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