Story by Staff Sgt. Timothy Koster
April 27, 2016
“The United States was in a mess over the Vietnam War and the image of the average Soldier coming back, whenever that person came back, at the American people saw them as baby killers, they were spit upon, and they were very disrespected,” said Keith Jackson, Massachusetts VFW state judge advocate and master of ceremonies for the event.
FORT DEVENS, Massachusetts – William Vicini, Senior Vice Commander of the Massachusetts Disabled American Veterans organization, receives a service pin from Fort Devens Garrison Commander, Lt. Col. Charlette K. Woodard, during the Loyalty Day program and 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, here, April 24, 2016. Loyalty Day is a special day for Americans to reaffirm their loyalty to the United States and to recognize the heritage of American freedom.FORT DEVENS, Massachusetts – Vietnam veterans from several posts of the Massachusetts Veterans of Foreign War and the Disabled American Veterans organizations, along with members of the Fort Devens community and other veteran organizations, joined together for a combined celebration of Loyalty Day and the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, here, April 24, 2016.
The Vietnam War concluded on April 30, 1975 and Loyalty day is a special day, typically observed annually on May 1 – signifying the day after the conclusion of the war – for Americans to reaffirm their loyalty to the United States and to recognize the heritage of American Freedom.
When younger Americans think about the Vietnam War, some see images from movies like Full Metal Jacket, Good Morning Vietnam, or Apocalypse Now, while others only see the black and white images printed in their text books from a time long, long ago.
Unlike other wars of the 20th century in which America has fought, such as World War II and the Korean War, which have a quickly dwindling veteran population, those who fought against the communist armies in the jungles of Vietnam are still quite numerous – and extremely proud of their service, despite the hardships they faced when they came home.
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