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The Veterans Site is a meeting place for people who support veterans, our troops, and one another. We encourage you to share your story with a community that cares. It might be about your own homecoming, your family's experience, or even the story your great-grandfather told that's been passed down the generations.
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This is not a home-coming story. It is more a memory of service and my regrets. I am an Air Force Veteran ('76 through '85 AD & 1 year reserves). I believe I was the first female airman to work in the Vehicle Maintenance Compound on Kadena AFB, Okinawa in '77. I remember actually being told by someone that if you were a female military it was for one of three reasons - you were husband-hunting, promiscuous or a lesbian. Never because you felt a patriotic duty or you needed/wanted the college education benefits! That was how military women were often seen then.
I am proud of my service. To this day I wish I had stayed in the AF - I loved it and was a good airman with potential (according to APRs). Unfortunately, I let my husband convince me that he'd stay in (he didn't!) so we could both share his retirement benefits & we would always be married. (Ha!) So he persuaded me that I, as mother of two young children, shouldn't re-enlist in the military. To be fair to him, at the time there was also the very real possibility of losing my Vietnam Era GI Bill benefits if I didn't get out and use them for my college degree by 1990. So I got out & to this day I wish I had a do-over.
I also Karaoke a lot with my sister. She began singing "God Bless the USA" several years ago to celebrate my and other family members' (brother, my son, grandfathers) military service.
I persuaded her that no longer is it just "the men who died" but women also. So now she sings "those who died" to acknowledge ALL who have died to give that right of freedom to everyone.
The treatment of returning Vietnam Vets had a positive side in that it hardened us and we understood we had no one to rely on except ourselves. We became a "Band of Brothers" We learned how to cover each others backs and we decided never again. Our returning veterans will be treated with dignity and the respect they deserve. Vietnam Vets will not tolerate anything less. A valuable lesson was learned at our expence and that turned out to be O.K. Our veterans of today have done such an excellant job and allowed us to raise our heads and finally believe we did a great job too and have nothing to be ashamed of !! God Bless America,
Sam Finley RVN 66-67
We all got off that plane, thinking Home,
Only to find The Land of Oz.
Home, never made it back Home.
And whats sad, we can never be Home Again.
Home as we knew it.
Karen Hall Lost my first boyfriend in VIET NAM.. ever since I have always had a very soft spot and deeply full of Patriotism for my Country! God Bless Our Troops, here and gone! but not forgotten, Loved you Ricky! I am so sorry I haven't Stood Up SOONER FOR WHAT you died for ! R I P I am trying now!
Like most soldiers returning from Vietnam I was proud to have served and proud to return to a way of life unknown to those we had spent the last year with. We arrived on August 9, 1971 and was treated very nicely by the personnel at the processing station where we were given new uniforms, a great meal and then processed quickly so that we could leave under a curtain of darkness to San Francisco International airport that we may depart to home. That is where we received our true welcome home committee from the Jane Fonda and John Kerry wanna bees. They welcomed us with rotten fruit and vegetables, spit on us, threw urine and other vile liquids on us all the time cursing us and calling us murderers, baby killers and that we should DIE right here. We were protected from any large items being thrown at us with the chain link fencing used as a gateway to the airport. It was nice flying home in a uniform that stank and it seemed everyone hated. This is the memory that I live with daily! Thanks to all my fellow Americans for the welcome home ceremony that will last me all my life.....I do forgive you and hope some day you'll understand the hurt and scars from your reception at San Francisco International HELLport!
I came home from the first Gulf War with mental health and physical issues like most every servicemember does. I decided I didn't want to pay rent anymore. I lived in an RV for 10 years. I then started taking care of a much older paralyzed Air Force veteran. We decided we'd both save lots of money (I had parked my RV on a friend's property by now) if I just moved in as a live in caregiver. After 10 years I had a real home again. A bathroom! I now have 3 roses, snapdragons, a big screen tv and a good therapist at the local VA hospital.
My Dad is a retired Marine, He fought in Vietnam and felt the spit that you talked about in your poem from a man while trying to defend the White House after fighting in Vietnam. He went on many deployments including Japan, Puerto Rico, and the Medditerianian. He managed to raise four children on his military pay, yet there was no complaining from my Mom or him. He fought and defended this country for twenty years. He taught us to love our country and I am proud to say that I am an American and a United States Marine Corp Child!
I live in a so called small town, that probably is going the other way soon. Because they are going to need money to survive here. I have lived here five years, and I could not believe my eye's when several places with the American Flag could not even put their flag at half staff on the days they were suppose to. If they can't do it, their are plenty of people who would volunteer to take care of this. I think it is very disrespectful not to follow protocol, I went around and handed out flyers to the businesses, about the protocol for the United States of America Flag. And they still don't do it. I appreciate our Veteran's and all that serve us.
I still get upset and sometimes cry when I remember how our Service men and women were treated when they came home from Vietnam.I had a copper P O W. M.I.A. bracelet for CAPT HARLEY HACKETT still M.I.A.and I think of him daily.My bracelet was lost when I went in for surgery,CAPT. HACKETT is on my mind daily and still pray that we will hear from him.
Does anyone else notice that a lot of the people who now honor our returning Vets are the same ones who cursed at-spit at- and called us vile names when we returned home from the Nam ?? If you notice they also have loved ones serving whether it be Sons-Daughters-or Family members and Friends. When I came into Seattle-Tacoma Airpot I was "Proud" to wear my uniform and show the world that I was a returning "Vet" Most people didn't like us being around them like we had a disease, and the ones in the robes harrased us till we boarded our flights. So my returning memories are like the ones you have of a school bully in Grade School repressed and (tried) but not forgetten
SPC George A. Green