Veteran of Foreign Wars Post of Shawnee held a Vietnam Veteran Recognition Program recently. State Rep. Justin Wood read a City Proclamation. State Sen. Ron Sharp read a Proclamation for the state, also answered questions concerning veteran issues in the Senate. The State VFW Commander Mike Devenith was also present.
Holly Factor presented a Native American Prayer in sign language “War Mother Song.” John Hamil preformed with a Native American Holy Drum “Memorial Song and Veteran Song.”
Nine million American soldiers fought in Vietnam War from 1964 to 1975, including 136,000 Oklahomans. More than 50,000 soldiers lost their lives during the war and another 30,000 diedafter they returned home.
Unlike veterans of previous wars, returning Vietnam veterans were not welcome by a grateful nation. Instead, many were ignored or scorned by the citizens who wrongly took their anger out on the soldiers.
Americans are belatedly embracing Vietnam veterans having come to the realization that those who severed were just as brave and honorable as their fathers and uncles who fought in previous conflicts like World War II and Korea.
Congress and the State of Oklahoma have designated March 29 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran Day.”