Will you welcome us home now?
I've been amazed, and humbled, by the number of people who have told me recently, in emails, comments on my blog posts, and messages attached to donations, "Thank you for your service." To each of you: You're very welcome. I didn't do a lot, but I take pride in what I did and the fact that I was willing to do even that much.
A clarification before I continue: As Russ Vaughn recently pointed out, heroes don't brag about it. That being the case, I'd be remiss not to point out that not everyone who doesn't brag is a hero. I'm not. Some of us just don't have all that much to brag about. We did our jobs and came home. Period. Personally, when I arrived in Viet Nam I shuffled papers for six months before I volunteered for duty with the potential of becoming a bit exciting. I didn't volunteer out of heroism. At the time I had a very sincere death wish, due in no small part to the activities of John Kerry and his sorry ilk back in The World while I was away. (Senator, are you proud of what you helped do to my marriage and so many others? Is it really so hard to understand why we hate you like we do?)
The day I arrived home from Viet Nam I walked the breadth of the University of Illinois campus, in uniform and blackened by the Asian sun, primed and cocked, hoping some sorry S.O.B. would have a problem with it so we could "discuss" it. No one was that foolish, but the silence was deafening. There were no parades when my generation came home from the war. We snuck back into society quietly, afraid to attract attention to where we'd been, for fear of the consequences it might have for our families. I had a brother in college and a sister in Middle School who didn't deserve to be scorned because I'd done my job when duty called. A lot of others had similar circumstances. I was one of the lucky ones. I came home standing up and my family, at least, made me feel welcome. Too many came home in coffins or on stretchers. Too many came home to find they'd become outcasts within their own families, shunned by parents and siblings, and even children, who believed what John Kerry said about them.
When you meet a Viet Nam vet, or discover that you've known one for years, by all means say "Thank you for your service" if you're so inclined. But if you only say one thing, please say "Welcome home." We were robbed of that, and it still matters.
Will you welcome us home another way? There's an election coming. John Kerry wants to be Commander in Chief. Please, help us thank John Kerry for the welcomes we didn't receive by showing him what you think of him on November 2. If you can't bring yourself to vote for President Bush, vote for Joe Lieberman, or Zell Miller, or Condi Rice, or Mickey Mouse if you must. Just don't vote for Jean Fraud Kerry. I trade emails with several Viet Nam vets and I read a number of their blogs. I sense a strong consensus among us that we'll be glad to treat President Bush's second inauguration as a grateful nation's "Welcome home" and consider a major debt paid in full. Will you give us that?
Update: Thank you everyone for the "Welcome home" comments and email. I trust the other vets reading this will see the comments and understand they were meant for all of us, not just for me.
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Will you welcome us home now?:
» Where Is the Honor? from Demoncratic Blunderground
Tracked on Oct 21, 2004 9:30:16 PM
» Where Is the Honor? from Johnny Four Months
Tracked on Oct 21, 2004 9:34:05 PM
» Welcome Home from Mudville Gazette
Tracked on Oct 22, 2004 4:26:04 AM
» MilBlogs: from Mudville Gazette
Tracked on Oct 22, 2004 4:33:40 AM
Beautiful. Thank you for your service. you rock. Welcome home.
Posted by: Rightwingsparkle | Oct 22, 2004 8:30:24 AMWelcome home from someone that served (Navy mid 60's) but never saw combat. You are appreciated.
Posted by: Lord British | Oct 22, 2004 10:04:26 AMIf in our past conversations it was never mentioned, "Welcome Home my friend!" Much like Lord British above, this ol Navy vet served , starting in the early 70's, but went to Iceland, vice off the coast of Vietnam. But for those who were in country, upon their comming home, would it have been so hard to have at least offered a "Thanks for your service, welcome home"? (OT: Like your new layout, very nice looking!)
Posted by: Guy S. | Oct 22, 2004 12:02:21 PMWelcome Home!
Posted by: trickster | Oct 22, 2004 1:56:16 PMWelcome home. I was a kid then, in Europe, and it's taken 30 years for the truth to reach me about these traitors and how they stole your honour. Welcome home, because this land truly *is* your home.
Posted by: Kalle (kafir forever) | Oct 22, 2004 11:12:46 PMTHANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE...AND WELCOME HOME!!! IT IS ONLY FITTING THAT THE SWIFTVETS AND THE MILITARY BRING THIS OPPORTUNISTIC TRAITOR THE ONE THING HE HAS TRULY EARNED. FINALLY, JUSTICE. I WATCHED ON TV AS A YOUNG GIRL. LATER I'VE LISTENED TO PROUD BUT HUMBLE MEN TELL THEIR STORY. I HAVE NEVER UNDERSTOOD HOW POEPLE COULD TREAT OUR SOLDIERS LIKE THAT. OVER THE YEARS AND AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, I HAVE SEEN TOO MANY WITH TEARS IN THEIR EYES WHEN I'VE OFFERED MY THANKS. SO AGAIN.....THANK YOU!
Posted by: DEBRA CAPISTRAN | Oct 23, 2004 4:42:06 AMYEs. Thanks for your service, and I will and have contributed to seeing you get the "Welcome Home" you deserve.
Posted by: Ben | Oct 23, 2004 6:31:03 AMDuring the summer I took my daughter to a meeting with the Honorable Michael Montelongo, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller. He's a West Point grad and my daughter is seriously considering going there. We were there in his Pentagon office talking for about five minutes before he found out I'd served 10 years in the Air Force. He looked me right in the face and said, "Thank you for your service." I was left speechless and very touched. I'd been out of Air Force for 10 years and that was the first time anyone said that to me. They're very powerful words... And I say to you: Thank you for your service. And Welcome home.
Posted by: Yeff | Oct 23, 2004 3:39:22 PMWelcome back, finally. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. I retired from the USAF, and I had a hard time trying to talk some of my younger troops into staying more than four years (especially in the 90's, and especially the good troops) But I told each and every one of them, "Thank you for serving. You didn't have to volunteer, and it doesn't matter how long you served, as long as your service was honorable." Thanks once again.
Posted by: cas | Oct 23, 2004 5:27:19 PMAs an Air Force veteran of 25 years, it was my privilege and honor to know many who served in Vietnam. To all I say Welcome Home and Thank You for your Service and Sacrifice.
Posted by: Bruce | Oct 23, 2004 6:06:31 PMTo Bill and ALL HONORABLE VETERANS: Welcome home and thanks for your service. I did six years in the USAF and Air Natl Guard. I was proud to have Ronnie Ray-Gun as my CINC! I knew two Sergeants who had cross-trained from the Army and were in the Hanoi Hilton when Jane paid her little visit. I'm joining them and many others to send that Commie Loving, freshly-pressed camo wearing, photo-op goose hunting, horse-faced, hoarse-voiced candy ass back to his Tootsie-resembling wife and his gold digging lifestyle. Hopefully never to darken the doorstep of public service again!
Posted by: TygrTygr | Oct 27, 2004 2:17:32 AM"Welcome home", then; and accept my thanks for your service. Here's a little snapshot of how the Iraqi veterans are being received: I was in the Atlanta airport, waiting for my brother-in-law to come up the escalators. In front of the roped-off area, near where the limo drivers wait, the USO has a banner and a table of goodies for soldiers returning from Iraq. Every time one would walk out, the USO staffers and a couple or three people waiting would applaud. The soldiers then lined up in a passageway while waiting for all of their group to arrive. They were carrying their gear and wearing freshly laundered chocolate chip cammies. I watched them walk away into a central circular area between the terminals--where most of the bars and snackshops are. As they filed past, a much greater ovation rose up for them. I could see people rising from their easy chairs to clap, and I heard a few cheers. That was heartening to see! I had to leave when my brother-in-law called me on the cellphone. He was already at the baggage claim, having slipped past me while I was gawking at the soldiers' warm welcome.
Posted by: The Sanity Inspector | Oct 28, 2004 3:50:52 PMI have to add to the people who say welcome home. I also grieve for those who didn't. I graduated from college in 1966, with a commission as a 2nd Lt in the Ordnance Corps for 2 years. I was probably fortunate that I was assigned to a CONUS assignment South of Chicago. I was probably also fortunate that I was in the service before the wrath of the John Kerry's hit the country. The one comment I wish to make, is that the most difficult assignments I had were those of "MIA/Death Notification Officer". These dealt with the parents of those not coming back. If John Kerry had a shred of honor, these would be the people he would apologize to. Thanks for letting me speak.
Posted by: Chuck Schaffner | Oct 30, 2004 4:19:58 PMDear Bill: This is the first time I have been to your site. I saw the site from a link on the Swiftboaat Veterans and POWs for truth. I just wanted to let you know. Today at 10:00 AM 10/30/2004. There was a Parade for the Vietnam Era Veterans. This was the first Parade of its kind and very long overdue. On October 13, 2004 the Detroit City Council considered and granted a permit for this Parade. Signator to this permit is Jackie L. Currie, City Clirk and Ms. Sharon Mc Phail, Chairperson of the City COuncil. The parade was not well attended. It has been raining all night and well into the morning. But even with the weather the parade did go off as scheduled. The Parade Route began at Rosa Parks Blvd. and W. Grand Blvd. It proceeded East on W. Grand Blvd. to the Corner of W. Grand Blvd and the John C. Lodge Freeway. Security for the parade was provided by the Detroit Police Department and the Michigan State Police. I would like to take this opportunity to thank they for their assistance. At the end of the parade I placed a sign on what used to be the Howard Johnson Hotel at the corner of West Grand Boulivard and John C. Lodge. I am sure you know what that building was. If not is was the site of the Winter Soldier Investigation and John Kerry's lying rise to fame. This sign was secured to the building with 4- Bush Cheney Bumper Stickers. The sign read, "Welcome Home Vietnam Vets THANK YOU !!! Bill what I think is the most important part of what happened today. We have made oficially adopted by the City Council of the City of Detroit a president to have a Vietnam Era Veterans Parade every October 30th of every year. This is something you will have to take up with your local or National Vietnam veterans groups. I will be sending a simular announcement to all VVA chapters I have e mail addresses for in Michigan and to the National group in Washington. I am sure they will be interested since John Kerry is a life time member and he will enjoy where we posted the sign and how it was attached. It also would not be a streach to petition the US Government to officially name Oct. 30th as Vietnam Veterans Day. The fact is that the President is set and can be refered to Nationally. I would provide copies of these documents to any Vietnam Veterans group upon request or they can contact the City of Detroit and Refer to Permit #3077 dated 10-13-2004. Anyway Bill. I hope you will feel better about what you have accomplished. Don't be fooled by the Politics of John Kerry and his minions. You are a hero and have been finally recognized officially at least here in the City of Detroit. Maybe Next year it will be bigger and better that will be up to you and all of your fellow Vietnam Heros. Bill I want to take this time to Welcome you home and Thank you for all that you did and suffered for my freedom. I apologize also for taking so long and for the way you were treated. Paul O'Connell Allen Park, Michigan
Posted by: Paul O'Connell | Oct 30, 2004 9:23:22 PMHey soldiers, those of us who are listed as incapable of serving appreciate you taking up the cross you wear and for protecting a country that so many take for granted. Welcome Home!!
Posted by: M40Headshot | Nov 1, 2004 7:08:15 PM
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