“Welcome home and thank you for your service.”

The public’s anger at our government for pursuing an unpopular war was often directed at the service members who believed they were doing the right thing by serving their country. They were blamed, and unfortunately felt shame for the mistakes made by those in authority.

Welcome Home Heroes- military sign

On the 11th day of November every year, we in the United States pause to honor the men and women who have served in our armed forces. We call it Veterans Day. March 29 has been set aside as a day to recognize those veterans who served during the United States mission to VietNam.

Military veterans today are held in high regard, and receive public and private recognition in many ways. This was not the case 40-50 years ago, when Vietnam veterans like my husband were not respected or appreciated.

The public’s anger at our government for pursuing an unpopular war was often directed at the service members who believed they were doing the right thing by serving their country. They were blamed, and unfortunately felt shame for the mistakes made by those in authority.

When called upon, they served their country but their country did not serve them well. Perhaps saddest of all, they received little if any welcome when they came home.

Vietnam veterans statue in Washington, D.D.

A national monument honoring Vietnam veterans now stands in Washington, D.C., as well as memorials elsewhere, like the one in Angel Fire New Mexico. There is a travelling “Wall” , a replica of the one in the nation’s capital.

a replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall with an American flag and a wreath of red, white, and blue flowers
a travelling replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. visits towns throughout the United States

When my husband wears a cap or shirt identifying him as a veteran, strangers will come to him and thank him for serving. Sometimes they will ask about his service experience, especially if they are also a veteran.

Fellow veterans always offer a hand, saying “Welcome home.”

A ceremony honoring a fallen soldier at the Vietnam veterans memorial in Angel Fire, New Mexico

We meet relatives of service members who eagerly share their loved one’s story. Sometimes, it is a story of one who did not come home. These stories touch our hearts and we walk away choked up and silent.

To veterans and active service members-Welcome home, thank you for your service.

one veteran’s story

My husband, Raymond Oglesby, wrote a personal account of his military experience, at this link

Three Servicemen, Vietnam Veterans Memorial replica

From bullets to blessings-one man’s journey to recovery from war

I didn’t want to ever go to Vietnam again when I came home in 1972 after a one-year tour of duty with the United States Army. I was stationed with the Americal Division, 3/18 Field Artillery Battalion near Tra Bong, a major village located about 25 miles west of Chu Lai, the headquarters of the Americal Division, on “China Beach” at the South China Sea.

Raymond published a book about his combat experience in Vietnam. You can read it on any Amazon Kindle E-reader or a free Kindle app on any device.

Battle for Tra Bong Vietnam Effects and Aftermath (Kindle Edition)

sharing the HEART of health

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

Thanks for following this blog. If you’re visiting, I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me. I also want you to find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest , Instagram, and LinkedIn .

                              Dr. Aletha 

Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

I am a family physician who explores the HEART of HEALTH in my work, recreation, and through writing. On my blog, Watercress Words, I inform and inspire us in healthy living. I believe we can turn our health challenges into healthy opportunities. When we do, we can share the HEART of health with our families, communities, and the world. Come explore and share with me.

17 thoughts on ““Welcome home and thank you for your service.””

  1. WOnderful post. My friends were just old enough to get a draft card but thankfully, the US pulled out of Vietnam and the draft ended by the time high school graduation. Thank you to the men and women who did serve then and now,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing his story. It is good that he wrote it down. It’s history. My daughter’s father is a retired Marine and there are few people in my life knowing what it means in reality to have a Veteran in your life. Thank you for your post. I hope you are enjoying a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment and yes I am the weather is beautiful where I am. When I was growing up almost everyone I knew had a veteran in their life, they were the men and women who had served in World War I and II and Korea but now not so many. I hope he will share his experiences with your daughter , it will be priceless information for her to pass on to her children.

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  3. This is a wonderful post. Coming from a family that has served in every conflict from the very beginning of our great nation, there is much to be remembered this holiday. It feels so very wrong this year NOT to be out at the cemetery to honor the fallen, not to make visits to the VA Hospital to deliver care packages to the wounded. Most of all not to be at PowWow with my Native Family, celebrating service and dancing our prayers for the safe return of those overseas today. It feels so very wrong not to do things… I hate Covid! So, thank you very much for this awesome post… and to your family who has/is/and will serve… THANK YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks to your husband for your service. I think a lot of it is where you live. I live in the SF Bay Area and I am a naval veteran of Persian Gulf I and a lot of people don’t really care and I have seen some work emails from people who bemoan the perks that veterans’ get on Veterans Day. I changed schools (I am a teacher) last year and other teachers don’t really care about Veterans Day and SFUSD doesn’t really care about veterans who work in their district.

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    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, although it makes me feel sad for you. First, thank you for your service, both in the military and in schools, two of the most important things you can do serve our country. Yes, my state is very supportive of veterans, it’s rare to hear anyone write or say anything negative towards veterans here. Perhaps you can find a local veterans group to partner with and start educating your community, especially since you are a teacher/veteran; schools are are great place to start. Also look for a local DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) chapter, veterans are a focus of their service projects; they may be unaware of how veterans are treated where you live. But you can always take pride in your service to the Unites States-Welcome home!

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  5. I remember when the US left Vietnam as I was 20 at the time, I had seen the protest about it on TV but never realised how they were forgotten about. The Government put them in harms way and forgot them that should happen to know serviceman they should never be forgotten

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