There are more than seven million Americans Vietnam veterans still among us today. They made sacrifices and fought in an unpopular war but are just now getting the recognition they deserve.
During a special ceremony on Monday, soldiers who bravely served the United States go the ‘thank you’ they should have gotten years ago. It was part of a pinning ceremony in South Lyon held by state Sen. Mike Kowall (R-White Lake).
“It’s nice to be recognized. Little late but nice anyway,” Vietnam veteran Charles Harmon said.
On Monday Kowall held a pinning ceremony in South Lyon to honor Vietnam vets during the 50-year anniversary of the Vietnam War.
“They were so poorly treated when they came home. I know it’s late but at least they get acknowledged for what they did, service and above all thank you and welcome home,” Kowall said.
Chuck Harmon did three tours of duty in the Navy during the Vietnam War. The conflict put the communist regime of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its main ally the United States.
For many in the U.S., the war was unpopular and some vets say when they returned home they did not feel appreciated.
“It was a very bad coming home,” Harmon said. “People who I went to high school with, went to college and didn’t understand what we went through. So that was pretty hard.”
Harmon wasn’t at the ceremony alone. His family was there as well, wearing t-shirt designed specially for the ceremony.
“All the trials and tribulations that he’s gone through since he’s been home we try to support him any way we can,” his wife Niki Workman, said.
The ceremony for the veterans comes as President Barak Obama drops an arms embargo on Vietnam
“I understand what the President is trying to do as far as increasing relations but I’m leery about opening arms treaty with Vietnam considering what’s going on in China and China Sea,” Kowall said.
Harmon says the physical and emotional pain of Vietnam still lingers and that’s why this thank you pin means so much, so many years later
“(I) hope people recognize that we are still here, still having problems, and it’s nice to be recognized finally,” Harmon said.