Vietnam Veterans Day ceremony calls attention to disrespect shown to returning Vietnam veterans

Hampden County
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Friday is Vietnam Veterans Day, a time to remember the ultimate sacrifice made during the conflict in the 1960s and ’70s.

West Springfield paid homage to Vietnam vets who never returned home. The annual ceremony on the town common called attention to the disrespect that was shown to returning Vietnam veterans.

“A few years ago, it was what it was and hopefully, times have changed and attitudes changed but I know we’re proud of what we did,” said Bob Simpson a Vietnam veteran from West Springfield.

“I know a lot of my friends had a lot of disrespect picking yourself up and get back in the game,” John Wilde a Vietnam veteran told 22News.

West Springfield’s Vietnam Veterans Day ceremony took place at the Vietnam Monument at the town common. The monument established in 1982, bears the names of West Springfield servicemen who died fighting for their country in Vietnam.

Vietnam veterans from western Massachusetts Friday honored the memory of the 58,000 Americans who died fighting the war in Southeast Asia.

The Springfield Vet Center conducted a Vietnam Veterans Day ceremony at it’s West Springfield counseling center. 

It’s still painful for these men as they remember the disrespect they encountered when they returned home.

“We were spit on, we were spit on, they called us names and everything else,” said Richard Askew a Vietnam veteran from Ludlow. “It’s embedded in our mind and everything else.”

The veteran centers across the country were created in 1979 to help a significant number of Vietnam veterans having problems readjusting to civilian life.

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