Honoring Vietnam war veterans
DELMARVA – As Delmarva takes the day to honor those who fought in the Vietnam war, some local Vietnam war veterans are giving community members a better understanding of what the day means to those who served.
Between 1955 and 1975, 7 million Americans served in the military, with three million serving in Vietnam. March 29th is recognized as National Vietnam War Veterans Day because it marks the day the last troops left Vietnam. One of those men hails from Salisbury, Sgt. Frank Bolen.
While at the time, the war was controversial, Sgt. Bolen tells 47 ABC, it means the world to him and other veterans to finally be recognized for serving their country, an honor they hadn’t felt for years. “Us vets, we don’t wasn’t to be accepted, we don’t care about all that, but they’re recognizing that we were there defending our country and we were doing what we’re supposed to and that was our job.” Sgt. Bolen adds, “At least now people look at us and say welcome home or you’re a ‘Nam’ vet and they show us a little respect and that’s all it’s about, it wasn’t like that in 1969 when I came home.”
Now that Vietnam Veterans Day is becoming more widely known, veterans like Sgt. Bolen are speaking out making sure all those who served in any war are recognized, and respected. “They stood on a wall and they protected us while we slept or while we went to the mall and they’re just as important as a ‘Nam’ vet, or Iraq vet, or Afghanistan, any of them, they’re all very important, they kept us free,” says Sgt. Bolen. “Doesn’t matter where you went or what your job was, you did what you were supposed to you signed on that line, and if they had asked you to go to Vietnam, Iraq, or wherever you would have gone and that’s all that matters. I respect every Iraq, and Afghanistan, every one of those veterans, they’re my hero.”
March 29th, at every veteran’s facility there will be ceremonies at 11 a.m. where citizens are welcome to come and support veterans. Sgt. Bolen will be speaking at the ceremony in Ocean View.