Local vets join in ‘welcome home’ rally
BRANSON, Mo. ” Two Vail Valley residents were part of a group of over 30,000 veterans who attended “Welcome Home … America’s Tribute to Vietnam Veterans” ceremony in Branson June 13 – June 19.
The two ere H. Ross Perot, one-time presidential candidate and a 1953 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who served on destroyers and an aircraft carrier through 1957; and Buddy Sims, commander of the Minturn Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and a B-52 pilot in Vietnam in 1972.
General Bryan Brown, commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command and also a Vietnam Veteran, gave Perot, a Vail Valley homeowner, and others the American Spirit Award, given to men and woman who have advocated for Vietnam veterans.
A welcome home parade was held Jun 17 with over 1,000 Vietnam veterans marching.
“After 30 years of waiting the 2.6 million Vietnam combat veterans finally received their homecoming parade for their honorable service,” Sims said. “The Vietnam War was the longest and most unpopular war in which Americans ever fought.”
Sims said myths about Vietnam have to be separated from the facts.
“Most Vietnam Veterans were not addicted to drugs, deliberately cruel and inhumane, or guilt-ridden about their role in the war,” he said. “For the record, America was not defeated in Vietnam. The Armed Forces won every battle of any consequence, a record of unprecedented military performance.”