Seen at the signing of the Viet Nam Veterans’ proclamation, left to right are Larry Myers, Senior Vice-Commander of the Disabled American Veterans, Mayor David Webb, and Rick Carter, Legion Commander.
The Vietnam War began Aug. 7, 1964, continuing until March 29, 1973. It was an unpopular war, spurring protests and civil unrest. U.S. military casualties of that war numbered 47,434 killed in action, 10,786 died from non-combat related injuries, and 153,303 troops were wounded. Many of the troops suffered neurological and psychological trauma due to the brutality of the war. In addition, many Viet Nam Veterans were exposed to Agent Orange, a chemical defoliant which causes various diseases including cancers, and birth defects in their children.
Due to several factors, Viet Nam Veterans were ill-treated when they arrived home. There were no parades to welcome them after they served their country. Many faced job discrimination and personal indignities, even “being spat on”.
The City of Altus seeks to right a national wrong by celebrating “Viet Nam Veterans Welcome Home Day”. Altus City Mayor David Webb said in the proclamation for the day, “Our Viet Nam Veterans and Viet Nam Era Veterans are living history of a bygone war - popular or not - and should be given the honored recognition that any returning soldier receives.” Webb has proclaimed Saturday, April 14 as “Viet Nam Veterans Welcome Home Day” in Altus. Webb asked, “all citizens to encourage friends and family to welcome home our Viet Nam and Viet Nam Era Veterans as any returning soldier should be.”