Veterans Day is a day when we honor those who served our country.
Some never got a warm welcome home.
“You were called names, spat on, ” Vietnam Veteran Leonard Hellwig said. “Nobody came over to you .. thanked you .. nothing. It was like you were a leper and they stayed away from you. It, It wasn’t easy.”
Hellwig was in the Air Force as a crew chief on F-100 fighters and B-57 bombers in Vietnam.
“It’s taken me a while just to get over that, maybe I haven’t all the way, but I’m trying,” Hellwig said. “Being out here with other veterans, talking with them, maybe just life in general, it’s very healing and that’s why I have dedicated myself now, working with the VFW as much as possible.”
Dedicating himself to make sure other veterans get the welcome home they deserve.
“They made the call to answer, to support their country and we need to support them as well now,” he added.
Events began and ended with a gathering at the community center, hosted by the Madras VFW.
“I just think that the obligation that they fulfilled along with their families is worth remembering and respect and that is what it is all about to me, respecting those who have done, what they’ve done for everyone in this country,” said Vietnam Veteran Craig McDonald. “To bring these things in to focus and remember those who made it all possible and continue to make it possible. That’s the importance of it for me personally.”
A day of honoring. a day of remembering, a day of respect, Veterans day.