I don’t think people still understand what it was all about: Music there’s, several events throughout my life that have kind of put into focus what this day means. I haven’t been able to talk for 35 40 years and it seems now that we’ve got a vietnam veterans day. It’S, like it’s we’ve, now been put out there as a great way for us, vietnam veterans to come forward and to be able to start talking because it’s been so many years of holding it inside when the governor, you know made that official. It was fact that our military service was appreciated. Nom war veterans now have their own state holiday and they’ll celebrate. For the first time on saturday, governor templeleni signed the bill into law today, honoring vietnam vets every year on march 29th. That date was chosen because of the last u.s ground troops leaving the asian country on march 29, 1973. 1072 minnesotans were killed in vietnam and 147 000 are considered vietnam era veterans this day march 29th, says to veterans. Vietnam veterans welcome home and thank you for your service. We didn’t experience those things 50 years ago, when i came back vietnam veterans day to me. Just ratifies all these things that i’ve experienced all my life of getting credibility to those that served in vietnam at whatever position you were at whether you were in the infantry or you were a clerk or you were a pilot or you’re a medic or corpsman whatever It was, it just justifies all the the things that you should have been able to be proud of from day, one that many of us hid or kept silent for 40 50 years.
When i enlisted in the ring cory, it was to serve my country fulfill. My military obligation, never imagined that i would find people publicly condemning us for our military service. Like most vietnam veterans, i just just slipped into the shadows and avoided talking about vietnam. I didn’t tell anybody: it was in the service didn’t tell anybody. I was in the marine corps. One generation of veterans will never forget another generation, and the reason for that is back in those days. In 1970, the american people hated us. We were not a real popular part of the program. Vietnam veterans weren’t, even welcome in legions and vfws it’s, okay to hate war, it’s, absolutely, okay to hate war; it’s, not okay, it’s, not okay, to hate the veteran that served over there. It was not okay, as i came into minneapolis st paul airport, when my tour is over and to first handedly feel that feel what happened to me, how they spit on me and different things. That day, i just really never talked about being a veteran myself and it wasn’t until the first gulf war, which was what 91. my boss and i were sitting having a beard down in lounge. He said. Let me ask you a couple questions. He said. Are you a veteran and i thought oh crap, i got ta admit my boss, that i’m a veteran. Then he asked me if i was a vietnam veteran, and i thought man i’m really screwed now and i said yeah i am a vietnam veteran and then i had probably one of the biggest shocks i’ve ever had.
He says well, my son’s a green bray and he thinks you guys are the greatest thing in the world and it was the first time i’d ever had that positive reaction from somebody. This now honors me and honors all of us veterans to be able to come forward and say you know what there’s a day for us. So let’s come forward and let’s start talking, because it really helps us to be able to talk. As a result of that, i could say you know with pride that i’m a vietnam veteran, i served in the military and that’s a pretty big deal when you go back to where you didn’t even dare talk about it, so it was very meaningful and what this I think this special day, it’s established at least once a year. We all have an opportunity to grieve. Vietnam veterans have an opportunity to reflect, and maybe we’ve got an opportunity to forgive the sacrifices our veterans make. You know, it’s pretty incredible. I know many of my comrades have served extraordinarily well. Many were wounded in action. Some were killed in action, then to come back and not get the recognition that they need. It is pretty devastating. So to go from that to where there’s a day set aside honoring you that’s a pretty big deal, it’s a pretty big change, a very positive change. Vietnam veterans day is the coolest thing on the planet, and not only that. Every year in forest lake we have a vietnam veterans day, which is attended by hundreds of people and it’s awesome, it’s, unbelievable it’s, it’s, so much fun and uh, and we get our.
We got a recognition from each other as well. So i just don’t want people in minnesota to forget about vietnam veterans day because we’ve got a lot of us. My name is terry kivioya. I served in the u.s army in the 101st airborne division. I was in vietnam july 69 to july 70.. My name is bill strasinski. I was in vietnam in 1967 and 1968 and i served as a combat medic with company a first battalion, 26th infantry regiment in the first infantry division, the big red ones. My name is ron lasuta. I was in vietnam, uh 11th armored cavalry was my unit. I was a right gunner on a on a 113 and i was there from 2 september of 68 to 29 august 69 is when i was in vietnam, christie sarro and i served in the marine corps. In vietnam, from december of 1967 to january of 1968, my name is jerry myron and i was in vietnam, 1968 1969 started out in the up in quan, loy cambodian border and then was down to uh lycae, which i call rocket city, because we got rocketed about Three or four times a day, because it was a helicopter point, no mission too difficult, no sacrifice too great duty. First that’s. What this special day means to me.