American Legion in Le Roy holds service to honor Vietnam War veterans

Local veterans recognize first anniversary of National Vietnam War Veterans Day

The Grand Valley Combined Honor Guard presented the colors for today's ceremony. Jennifer Rugh, an employee in the prosecutor's office, sang the National Anthem.

The Flag of the United States and Flag of North Carolina were replaced Wednesday with a Vietnam Veterans of America flag.

"Thank you for your service, your valor and your sacrifice", Coleman said to the Vietnam War vets.

"They deserve our greatest gratitude". The signing of the legislation coincides with various 50th anniversary observances of the Vietnam War going on across the nation. "As a result, there are thousands and thousands of veterans who have benefited from our service - not just in the military but afterwards".

Becker said there is nothing glamorous about war.

"This is his coat with some of the places he was in Vietnam", said Teal, who wore her husband's jacket to the ceremony.

"A lot of that has to do with how they were received when they got out", Jackson said.

Harold Patterson had to wait nearly 40 years for his parade. He explained he held many different positions while over there.

"I'm not a hero", he said.

The day is celebrated on March 29th because it is significant to veterans of the war. He added the third definition is someone who served in the armed forces.

"When I came back in 1967 we landed in Travis AFB and we went to Oakland AFB and there were protesters out there", said Kenny "Gabby" Warner. "What a better pool of young men than these teenage boys".

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For many service members returning from the war, things weren't so simple.

Fahy, who is stationed at the nearby Belton Army Reserve Center, said the display of appreciation is genuine, but it arrived too late for many. They were excellent physical shape, used to working and easy to train.

"It actually brings tears to my eyes when I think about it".

Saturday's ceremony honored the 27 Berkshire County people who were killed in action in Vietnam. They each introduced themselves, the company or regiment they fought with and shared their experience coming home.

"They said you are now an officer and a gentleman".

"Just like out World War II veterans and Korean War veterans, they're starting to leave us", says Read, "But we want to make sure that they heard those words "Welcome home". "I know in my case I had my family, neighbors, community and church all help me re-adjust to simulating myself back into normal society".

"We were kind of forgotten", said Albritton who was drafted at 19.

"I had more that I didn't like than I did like".

"Draftees like me were told what to do, and we had to do that", he said. They still made him uncomfortable, but gradually he's seen a change in how veterans are perceived.

"This is wonderful", Olson said of the honoring ceremony.

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