ASK AMY: Veterans Respond to Difficult Homecoming

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Dear readers: I recently posted a letter from “Old Veteran” who noted that as a Vietnam veteran, he feels quite uncomfortable when people say “Thank you for your service.”


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Old Veteran noted that “there are many wounds that have never healed” due to the way the service members were treated when they returned home from Vietnam.

I later posted a response from “Upset” who claimed that this mistreatment was an “urban myth.”

These letters have prompted hundreds of responses from other veterans and those who love them. Some of these answers are below.

On this Veterans Day, I would like to say to all service members: Thank you.

Veterans who have been mistreated when they returned to the United States after serving in unpopular wars report that they have longed to hear these two words: Welcome home.

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Dear Amy: The “Old Veteran” letter made me cry.

I was also subjected to a lot of bad things coming home after my service was completed. The day I got home and changed my clothes was the last day I talked about being in the toilet. I moved from my neighborhood and never told anyone that I had been in the military.


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So please tell ‘Upset’ this is not an urban myth. I would tell that person to come over and talk to some Vietnam veterans, if they have the guts to hear the truth about how this country was run during this time.

– Mike from Detroit

Dear Amy: I’m an army brat. People told me that my dad was a baby killer when he was serving in Vietnam.

And in 1977, I was spat upon when I was wearing my ROTC uniform on campus. I understand that people want to believe that those things never happened, but they did.

Let’s never let that happen again.

– Proud to serve

Dear Amy: 52 years have passed since I came home from Vietnam. For the first 30 years after I got home, I didn’t tell anyone that I was a Vietnam veteran because I didn’t want to be harassed or ridiculed, but not anymore.


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No matter how unpopular the war was, I’m proud of my time in the US Army Infantry, and I don’t care who knows it.

– Proud

Dear Amy: My mother was a nurse in Vietnam and she always had mixed feelings about serving in the military.

She was in the hospital seeking treatment near the end of her life, and the nurses and doctors discovered that she was a veteran.

They started asking questions and also thanking him.

In the week before her passing, she said it took her 40 years, but she was never so proud to have served.

She knew her children were proud, but strangers who said “thank you” and showed respect for her service cheered her on.

He finally felt like he had completely returned home.

To all vets: Thank you and welcome home.

– Daughter of a proud veteran


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Dear Amy: My husband spent 18 months in Vietnam.

When many soldiers returned home, by the time they arrived in the United States, they changed their uniforms because of the comments that were being made.

Yes, there were those who were spat on.

Years passed before he told anyone that he served in Vietnam. Now when he’s out and he’s wearing his Army / Vietnam cap, more Vietnam vets will come and talk to him.

– Loving wife

Dear Amy: I am the wife of a veterinarian from Vietnam.

My husband was recruited, so he left. There was no 24-hour news coverage; mail to and from Vietnam was irregular and the Internet did not exist.

The poor treatment of returning vets is not a myth!

I will always remember waiting at Travis AFB for his plane back with protesters yelling curses. And yes, spit. It was horrible.


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Neither my husband nor I thought the war made sense, but what the protesters did not seem to understand is that members of the armed forces did not start the war and few were volunteers.

They were simply American “children” answering the call of duty.

– Mickie

Dear Amy: For four generations, my family has been a pilot in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan. There are two words most appreciated by veterinarians and rarely heard: “Welcome home.”

Veterinarians have responded with sincere gratitude and pride, often telling me that this is the first time someone has welcomed them home.

– An Air Force brat

Dear Amy: I am a senior vet. When people thank you for your service, I respond, “I was recruited. But I would do it again for you. “- anonymous



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