Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran's Day

The U.S. Senate declared March 30th “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” On March 30, 1973, U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam under the terms of the Treaty of Paris.

Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, introduced the legislation saying, "Our soldiers served honorably and bravely in Vietnam. Unfortunately, they arrived home to a country in political turmoil, and never received the recognition they deserve. By setting March 30th aside as a day to focus on our Vietnam veterans, we can show our unified gratitude for their service and the sacrifices that these veterans made on our behalf."

My heartfelt Thanks, now and always, to all those who served our country in the Vietnam War.

And because of my aunt's service in Vietnam, I also wished to say another Thank You to those women, many of them nurses, who served.

As I wrote  Here in  2006:
My aunt served in the Army Nurse Corps, and was sent to Vietnam at the age of 22. She served from August of 1967 to August of 1968,turning 23 while she was in Vietnam. She was a Captain.

She served with the 91rst Evac., at a little place called Phu Hiep, right outside of Tuy Hoa .

My daughter, who later interviewed my aunt in depth about her wartime service for a class project,
wrote a poem in 2010 for her great-aunt:


From August 1967
To August 1968
My nursing skills brought me
To the war of Vietnam

Located on the coast
Near the village of Phu Hiep
I worked to mend
The wounded that came in

It was the 91st Evac
With concrete slabs and tin
Constructing our little houses
For us to live this war in

To be silly, and give some cheer
I acquired some paint
To make my room walls
An ugly shade of pink

Choppers come overhead
Bring with it many injured
Some won't survive
and some reach us already dead

The Napalm wounds hurt more
Than just those hit
Because then those burned
Come to our burn unit

A nurse can't be on that ward
For more than one day
Because our emotional toll
Would be one so great

To our burn tank, they'd be soaped up
Doped up on medication
To help with the pain of their skin
Being peeled off

But there were little things
that were rewarding to us
One of those rewards
Was a child named Bao

He looked six months
But was really two
Someone from a village
Brought him, because he was ill

He was malnourished,he wouldn't eat
An infection in his mouth
Hydrogen peroxide
was the simple cure

He stayed with us for months
And started being able to eat
His infection was gone
And he was growing strong

Then one day we stood him up
And he began to move his feet
He was walking on his own
That moment was rewarding for me

One emotional, tiring year
And then I got to come home
I prayed as the plane took off
To get back safe

It took three extra days
To get back into the States
But my frustration left me
When I saw my husband at the plane gate

I don't speak of it much
Except the stories that get a laugh
Because not many people
Understand the stories that are bad

They ask "How'd you like it?"
A ridiculous question
With all the things I saw
Who could like things like that?

Most people don't understand
What it was like being over there
Burn tanks, working on the wounded
And all the emotional parts of war

However, if I had to
I'd do it all again
For that one year of my life
That I was in the War in Vietnam

Not only today, but every day..Welcome Home! to those who served in Vietnam..and Thank You, for your service!

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