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Friday, September 30, 2016

President Obama spoke at the Vietnam Memorial and laid a wreath at the Arlington National Cemetery on Monday, commemorating Memorial Day with an admission that the veterans of Vietnam were “mistreated” upon returning:

You were sometimes blamed for the misdeeds of a few … You came home and were sometimes denigrated when you should have been celebrated. It was a national shame, a disgrace that should have never happened.

Even though some Americans turned their backs on you, you never turned your back on America.

He also noted that for the first time in nine years, Americans weren’t fighting and dying in Iraq.

Here’s the video:

  • ExPAVIC

    Finally

    As a Vietnam combat veteran this writer learned first hand what it was like to return from that charade of a war to face a public that had long been fed false information. While we initially held to our patriotic intent, before too long it became clear that the “hippies’ were right and we were wrong for representing those politicians whose only purpose was to make the defense contractors rich.

    As an indicator of what our politicians were up to, it took them over thirty years to admit that Agent Orange was a carcinogenic and our guys were dying from exposure to that substance. Nice huh?

    Before we pass on like our WWII comrades, there are many things that should be clarified before we too are gone. By his statements, Obama has begun that process.

    • SaneJane

      Thank you. I was young and self-absorbed during the war and it didn’t make much of an impression on me. The protests by college students and hippies went right over my head. In the early 70s I attended a junior college where there were several Vietnam veterans in my classes. These guys were treated like dirt by the instructions and I didn’t even understand why. Years later a childhood friend died from effects of Agent Orange and I had not even known that he had served in the war. I thought, how could I not know this. Then I saw the movie “Born on the Fourth of July” and suddenly a wave of remorse, shame and sadness washed over me. I am so sorry for what happened to you guys and so ashamed I was not touched by your plight years before. Tears flowed freely while I listened to President Obama’s speech yesterday. The Republicans have always supported big business and war certainly fits that description. Even though the war was wrong I thank you for your sacrifices and service. Thank you for your clarity on the history of this war. Thank you for supporting President Obama. Please accept my apology and best wishes.

      • shadeaux14

        As a Vietnam veteran, I thank you Jane.

  • I thank President Obama for his speech on Memorial Day regarding the Vietnam veterans. My husband was a Vietnam veteran, but died in 2009 before a president could thank him for his services in the Marien Corp but I’m glad some veterans were able to hear the welcome home.

  • Jose L. Aviles

    I too suffered the wrath of the public when I came home from Viet Nam. No one wanted to hire me because Viet Nam Vets were all druggies. It was very hard to get any kind of employment . People saw you as a baby killer or some kind of a madman. Thanks to the EEA I finally got hired by The City of Chicago. That helped me get my education and support my family. I thank President Obama for recognizing all Viet Nam Vets and the sacrfafice that we made for this country.

  • Thank you Mr. President. Your heartfelt words brought tears to my eyes. Though we were mistreated upon return from the war in Vietnam, we are still the lucky ones. Many gave all. We only had to give some. Please remember those that did not return and say thank you to those that did. Welcome home to all veterans. Thanks for your service.