Letter: Recognition for Vietnam service belated but appreciated

September 5, 2013 

When I returned from Vietnam in 1970, our military wasn't treated very well. Over the years, we did not wear pro-military gear because we were looked down upon not only by the public, but also by our predecessors.

Not surprising, we didn't participate in many pro-military organizations such as the VFW or the American Legion. But since the public now knows the military didn't lose the war in Vietnam, the politicians did, we are now highly regarded for our sacrifices.

I recently rode into a gas station to fill up my motorcycle. A young man ahead of me motioned to pull forward by his truck. In appreciation for my service, he bought the full tank I needed. Never have I been so humbled by such a thoughtful gesture. I thanked him and invited him to come visit us at the American Legion Post in Pasco.

When you see someone wearing a hat or a vest indicating he or she is a veteran, know that your thoughtfulness is heart felt and for me, the years of public disparagement toward Vietnam veterans is far gone in the past.

JOE WINTERS, Kennewick

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