“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.

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

Dr Aletha

Honoring Our Veterans 

If you have ever received care from a physician who trained in the United States, that doctor likely learned from a veteran in a VHA facility. So our veterans continue to serve even after they leave military service. 

In the United States we reserve November 11, the date of the Armistice of World War I, as Veterans Day, to remember and honor all who do or have served in our armed forces.

The Veterans Administration provides benefits to veterans including health care. The VA Health Care System, or VHA,  one of the largest in the world, not only cares for veterans’ health, but also  provides medical education and medical research.

If you have ever received care from a physician who trained in the United States, that doctor likely learned from a veteran in a VHA facility. So our veterans continue to serve even after they leave military service. 

Welcome home heroes sign on a VA clinic
a Veterans Administration clinic

Here are several stories about veterans. Enjoy them, and make  time to thank veterans this week.

disabled veteran patch

I believe your heart will be touched by this  story about the special relationship between  a wounded veteran and his therapy dog. Mine certainly was.

“It’s been quite a journey for U.S. Army veteran Justin Lansford and his canine companion, Gabe.

In 2012, Lansford lost his left leg in an IED explosion in Afghanistan.”

My husband served in the Army and was deployed to Vietnam in the 1970s. Here is his story –

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.”

Memorial Day at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Angel Fire, New Mexico

a special Memorial Day observance at a unique veterans memorial

 

a display of black and white photos depicting soldiers in Vietnam
In the museum of the Angel Fire museum, photo by Dr Aletha

A veteran dishes out love– personal reflections from a Vietnam veteran

“The people around us are starving for love and we need to unlock our pantry and see to it that everybody gets a belly full.”

clowns entertain Vietnamese people
A veteran and his wife clown for people at a humanitarian outreach in Vietnam.

a doctor father honored his veteran son’s memory

two soldiers statue
statue at Canon City Colorado-photo by Dr Aletha 

exploring the HEART of health

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

And to my veteran friends, followers, and readers-Thank you for your service.

Dr Aletha

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