Sunday, July 22, 2012
American Veterans Traveling Tribute
It was all over at 3 pm (Sunday July 22). The tribute was a great success bringing understanding to our community. In the past, Vietnam veterans upon returning to their homes were blamed and dishonored. I was even told not to wear my uniform when returning home by a friend. I was flying stand by and this required class "A" attire of my uniform. While waiting to board my flight at Oakland, Ca. I was approached by several hippy looking people that ask "How many babies did you kill today" One even spit on my shoe. I can't tell you how bad I felt, this memory has stayed with me for many years. Desert Storm veterans returned to parades and cheers. I must tell you I felt inferior, although I did my job, followed orders from the higher ranking and officers. Saturday July 22 at South Ripley School I along with all Veterans of all wars were cheered and honored as one. Yes, Vietnam veterans were included along in the group with WWII, Korean, Desert Storm and all other wars. I can't tell you how proud I felt. I seen other veterans along with myself with tearing eyes. Things change, It only took 50 years. I do hope you were able to attend the tribute or visit the Wall where 58,000 plus names were displayed of soldiers that gave their lives in the Vietnam war. As a side note, I purchased a cap at the Wall that had printing of "Vietnam Veteran" on the front and back. I feel I now can wear the hat proudly.
Thank You Ripley County,
Sgt. E-5 Jack Demaree