HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Redstone Arsenal held a heartfelt service for Vietnam veterans, a ceremony that meant a lot to those in attendance.
The Commissary and Exchange commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War by thanking and honoring Vietnam-era veterans and their families Thursday morning.
Guest speaker, BG (Retired) Robert A. Drolet, gave them special recognition at the Exchange Hero Wall and let them know our nation is grateful for their service.
Veterans at the ceremony said the event made them feel very proud.
Warren Harmon spent more than 30 years in the military and says those who served in the Vietnam War receive more recognition now than they did in the past.
"We were badly treated when we came back. We were spit on at the airport and called baby killers and everything else. Now, when you see people coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, people treat them well," he stated. "Nowadays, I can go to Walmart or anywhere people see me with my Vietnam hat on and they thank me for my service. I've even had people at Walmart leave notes on my car thanking me for my service. It's a lot different today than it was back in the 1960s and 70s."
As part of the commissary ceremony, Vietnam-era veterans received lapel pins to mark the 50th anniversary and pay tribute to the sacrifices they made during the war.
The event recognized those individuals who served in uniform from Nov. 1, 1955 – May 15, 1975, as well as their families, as part of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. Vietnam Veterans Day, March 29, was established in 2012.
March 29, Vietnam Veterans Day, was first established by presidential proclamation in 2012 leading to the start of annual observance events in
2014. The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 further established the events as a national observance to recognize Vietnam War-era veterans for their service.
Approximately 9 million U.S. military members served on active duty during the Vietnam War era - Nov. 1, 1955 - May 15, 1975. Out of the 2.7 million
U.S. service members who served in Vietnam, more than 58,000 were killed and more than 304,000 were wounded.
"Team Redstone's participation is pivotal to successfully reaching these Vietnam Veterans and their families, and we are proud to join this effort," said Greg Templeton, Redstone Exchange store manager.
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