The Stigma of War: Vietnam Veterans

Texoma's Vietnam Veterans are coming together to celebrate an appreciation day held in their honor. Newschannel 6 spoke with several veterans about their experiences and the stigma of war.

Vietnam Veteran Dick Crislip said, "I think having a Veterans Day for Vietnam Veterans is a way to make up for the way Vietnam Veterans were treated when they came back."

Cherie White, also a Vietnam Veteran, commented, "I'm very proud to have served. I think it's well deserved so I'm always happy when there's some recognition."

The recognition has not always been there for Vietnam Veterans. They gathered Thursday, remembering the war with smiles, thinking how those days were.

Crislip said, "It was the first time in history that people displayed their dislike for the war and the solder."

Fred Prejean, also a Vietnam Veteran, commented, "The warm arms and the welcoming wasn't there." Perjean added, "I remember coming through San Francisco and we had the peace activists all around, it was troubling."

The experience was even more troubling for women who served in Vietnam, nursing the troops back to health. White said, "I never felt the need to talk about it. I never wanted to talk about it because it wasn't expectable to talk about it."

Now times have changed and Vietnam Vets are making a difference.

Richard Bruced, Vietnam Veteran, commented, "We don't want anybody coming home the way we had to come home." Bruced added, "We had to come home and sneak in the back door. I was kind of ashamed I had to do it the way I did."

The vets are changing the idea of what it means to come home from war. They are making sure no solider is ever left behind and every solider comes home appreciated.

Mike Lechuga, Vietnam Veteran, said, "Freedom is not free. If you never served in the military be appreciative of the military men or women who put on that uniform and defend our country."

President Barack Obama proclaimed March 29th as Vietnam Veterans day to commemorate the 50 year anniversary of the Vietnam War.

Natalie Garcia,  Newschannel 6