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Posted on Mar 21, 2011 in Stuff We Like

March 30 – Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day

By Armchair General

Dak To, Vietnam. An Infantry patrol moves up to assault the last Viet Cong position after an attempted overrun of the artillery position by the Viet Cong during “Operation Hawthorne.” June 7, 1966. National Archives.

On March 30, 1973, all U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam. There were no ticker-tape parades honoring the veterans, no triumphant marches or speeches as there at been at the end of each of the World Wars. America’s Vietnam veterans returned home to silence, or worse, in some cases to denigration for having served their country during a controversial war.

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March 30, 2011, has been officially designated "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day."

The U.S. Senate resolution designating the day as one to provide overdue honor to the members of the armed services was introduced by Senator Richard Burr (R–North Carolina), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. This is the second consecutive year he has introduced such a resolution.

On March 30, make a special effort to say, "Welcome home."

The text of the announcement of the resolution’s passage appears below.

Washington D.C – The U.S. Senate yesterday declared March 30th as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day,” agreeing unanimously to a resolution introduced by Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

On March 30, 1973, all U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. This March 30th, the Senate has encouraged Americans across the country to recognize Vietnam veterans for their sacrifice and demonstrate a warm welcome to these soldiers who returned from war to a politically divided country.

“I’m pleased that the Senate has agreed to set aside a day to give our Vietnam veterans a warm, long-overdue welcome home. I strongly encourage communities throughout North Carolina and across the country to observe this day with activities and events that honor these veterans for their service. It’s time they receive the recognition they have earned and deserve.  This day also provides our nation with an important teaching moment. Never again should our men and women serving in the armed forces receive the same treatment as those returning from Vietnam,” said Senator Richard Burr.

Senator Burr introduced the resolution for the second consecutive year on February 16, 2011. Click here to read Senator Burr’s remarks on the introduction of the resolution.

The United States became involved in Vietnam because policy-makers believed that if South Vietnam fell to a communist government, communism would spread throughout the rest of Southeast Asia.  The US Armed Forces began serving in an advisory role to the South Vietnamese in 1961, and in 1965, ground combat troops were sent into Vietnam.  On March 30, 1973, after many years of combat, all US troops withdrew. More than 58,000 members of the United States Armed Forces lost their lives and more than 300,000 were wounded in Vietnam. 

Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Thad Cochran (R-MS), James Inhofe (R-OK), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Mike Johanns (R-NE) co-sponsored the legislation. The resolution now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Pfc T.J. Manning (left), radio operator and his platoon commander, 2nd Lt. move into action during a fire-fight on Operation Beacon Hill. Marines are from D, 1/4. National Archives.

10 Comments

  1. Hi,
    Although my husband and I are both Canadian. we were directly impacted by this war. We both lost freinds and had friends who were never the same after. I have included the text and the image from the top at http://catfromhell.wordpress.com For March 30th. I hope this is OK. If you have any problems, please email me.
    Barb

  2. Thank you Jesud! this day has been a long time coming. they deserve it. I am a Blue star mother and patriot guard rider in oklahoma and I love the troops. I feel so honored when I see a retired or vietnam vet and I go up to them and thank them and ask if I can give them a hug. The sparkle of joy appears in most of their eyes and they thank me
    I am the proud mom of MSGT Doug Dedon USAF.

  3. I have a question if on March 30, 1973 the last of the troops pulled out of Vietnam why it is they are given an unearned title of losing the conflict on April 30, 1975. That is 1 year and 30 days after the last troops pulled out. The North Vietnamese Government lied and broke the January 29th. 1975 Paris Peace Accord Treaty and our government never back our soldiers. Thanks to the government and the news reporters for the lives they have hurt and ruined. Maybe someone will read this and set the record straight The Vietnam Veterans did NOT lose the conflict. I have been trying to do this in Wisconsin for the past 20 years.

  4. I will never – NEVER – “praise and comfort” any participants in that pointless, pointless, thoroughly loathsome war.

    The have nothing to be proud about. Nothing.

    • Slafs, you do know there was a draft, right? How can you fault those who had so little control over their own destiny? I’m sure many of them weren’t proud of what they were forced to do, but they were bound by duty and responsibility to their fellow “participants”.
      I certainly hope you are never in the same position.

    • Flass- I was there for my full tour of duty before getting wounded and I would never want “praise and comfort” from pile of fecal matter such as you, but I would like your home address so we could talk about Nam. I’m sure other VietVets like myself would love to educate you about what those years were like.

      • you said it. these negative people evidently wasn’t touched in any way shape or form by the causalties of this war.. God bless all thse that served

    • WOW, these were Soldiers, they did not start or want to do what they did. They were soldiers and we should be proud of them and beg forgiveness that we treated them so bad on their return from Vietnam. You want to hate, hate the government, those that held the puppet strings, those that lied, those that were greedy, those that hid behind others, letting those brave and wonderful soldiers carry the brunt of accusers such as yourself, have those wonderful soldiers come home to people blaming them, as if each of them had bought their own ticket and guns to go over there. WAKE UP! They were soldiers…..there is a government, a way higher power then the soldier you need to direct your hate and anger to. THINK, and next time apologize to a soldier for your ignorance

  5. I just learned about this proclamation on March 28, 2012 from a Vietnam Veteran friend on Facebook. Doing a little research on activities in my area (Philadelphia), I see nothing sponsored by any group. Not even the VFW, American Legion or VVA. If someone wants to be sincere about recognizing those of us who served in Vietnam, proclaim a one day holiday. Have everyone stop work for just one day to recognize the Vietnam Veteran’s contribution. It only needs to be done once. If done once and well, the day will begin to give the Vietnam Veteran the recognition and healing that he or she needs. Do it right, or not at all. Where I am sitting, it is still… not at all.

    • In California, we celebrated our 1st Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans day at March Field Air Museum in March of 2010. Bill AB717 was approved and the 30th of March is the official date. This year for our 3rd annual, we have the traveling Wall That Heals for six days. The response has been wonderful. We are reading every 58, 272 names in sifts of 12 hours a day by volunteers until the last name is read. The readers are honored to do this.

      That date (30th March-1973) is the day our last combat troops were in Vietnam. Obviously we still had Marines staffed at our embassy in Saigon. They were there to ‘protect the flag’ of the United States and the American citizens inside the American Embassy compound. Because of the peace treaty signed in Paris, March 30, 1973 was out last day of combat commitment; hence the date. I thought that last year it was approved by the US Senate and that it became a national date of remembrance, but evidently it has not yet been approved. I have read that Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in conjunction with Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) is proclaiming to make March 29th the official date. Uh, Barbara, you are from California. Is there a reason you want to change the date? No wonder that the very liberal Jon Stewart cannot resist making fun of you. Seriously, woman. And Doug, should you be lacking another fellow vet to explain to Slafsie or whatever the real name is, call me. If I cannot convince him intellectually and in a rational and understandable manner about his errant ways, I’ll be more than happy to hold him for you. WELCOME HOME, BROTHER!

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