In the decades since the end of the Vietnam War, some wounds have never healed. In the U.S., the Vietnam years were trying times. Military personnel whose fathers and grandfathers had returned home from World War II as heroes were faced with less cordial receptions and, in some cases, jeers.
Now, thanks to a special program, Vietnam veterans across the state are being recognized with special medallions and certificates. These men and women are finally hearing the praise and accolades for serving their country that was missing in the mid-1970s.
For many Vietnam veterans, this show of official recognition and honor is meaningful and welcome. Regardless of the political backdrop of the Vietnam era, those who served did so as honorably as the veterans of any other war in which the U.S. has been engaged.
We join the Veterans Award Program, authorized by the Missouri Legislature last year, in a salute to all veterans of the Vietnam War.