Vietnam-era veterans recognized for service 51 years later

Published 6:08 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2017

In a ceremony 51 years in the making, 22 Vietnam Veterans were officially honored for their service by the State of Georgia on Monday night. The ceremony was co-sponsored by American Legions Post 502 and the Veterans Service Department in Bainbridge.

“It was to right or wrong that it had happened during that time that era that Vietnam Vets were not recognized for their service,” Post Commander John Marshallm who was one of the veterans recognized, said. “A lot of them felt like they sacrificed unjustly because when they came home it felt like the people they were defending turned against them. That sentiment resonated for many years including today.”

To help right this wrong the post partnered with the state to recognize veterans that served in Vietnam between Feb. 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975.

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“We took it upon ourselves as a post to call out and try to get those veterans to come forth and get the recognition they deserve,” Marshall said.

Each veteran had to submit a DD214 showing an honorable discharge from the military and that they served during that period. They were then presented with a certificate and a label pin to recognize their service. Terrie Hurst of the Veteran Services Department presented the pins and Williams Simmons, the junior Vice Commander of the American Legion National Headquarters delivered the closing remarks.

Veterans that were not honored on Monday, but served in the Vietnam War from Feb. 28, 1961 and May 7, 1975 can submit their DD214 to Veteran Services and they will receive a certificate and pin.

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