America’s heroes who fought and sacrificed in the Vietnam War were honored Monday as the community marked National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
Booneville’s VFW Post 4877 hosted a breakfast for veterans and their families, followed by a ceremony at the Vietnam War Memorial on the courthouse square.
“These guys spent 10 years over there and they got absolutely nothing when they got home. It’s a shame they never got the welcome every other veteran received,” said VFW Post Commander Terry Tolar.
He said as a soldier trained under the veterans who served in Vietnam when he joined the Army in 1975, the Vietnam generation will always hold a special place in his heart.
The commander said it’s important to remember the sacrifices of every American who served in the armed forces and on this special day to honor those who gave of themselves in Vietnam. He noted 58,749 Americans died in the conflict, including 637 Mississippians.
Bro. Chester Harrison, a highly decorated Army veteran who served in the infantry in Vietnam, described in harrowing detail the reality of the life of soldiers fighting on the ground in the jungle. He said a person who serves in the military is a special breed, as are all those who serve in law enforcement and as first responders of any kind, and they all share a common bond.
“When things start happening a warrior responds and we are warriors,” said Harrison.
Retired USMC Sgt. Barry Brumfield, a Vietnam veteran, described his time in the war, including during the dangerous and hard fought Tet Offensive, and said he’s grateful to be able to continue to honor his fellow servicemen and women.
“To my fellow Vietnam veterans, welcome home,” he said.