The annual celebration of Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day is March 30 — as decreed by the U.S. Senate — a time to honor all who served honorably and bravely in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and elsewhere in the Southeast Asia war zone.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, service members returning home from duty in Southeast Asia were often greeted with protest signs, defamatory chants, spit and worse — a stark contrast to the way veterans returned home from battle after World Wars I and II. Thankfully, the post 9/11 generation veterans do not have to duck into airport restrooms to change from their uniforms to civilian clothes as some Vietnam veterans were forced to do.

“To this day, I don’t understand why my fellow Vietnam veterans were ever treated like they were the enemies,” stated Harris Bradeen of Turner in a press release. “But I am grateful that times have changed, that we welcome home with open arms our men and women who serve in harm’s way and now, belatedly, offer thanks to those of my era, as well.”

All are invited to take take a pause in their busy schedules on Monday to welcome and honor Vietnam veterans.

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