March 30, 1973 (March 29th in Vietnam) was the day that all U.S. troops were withdrawn from Vietnam; the Senate has declared this day as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. Why do Vietnam veterans need their own holiday? As far as I know there are no other veterans from other wars that have a holiday dedicated specifically to them.
As the daughter of a Vietnam vet who was killed in action, I support the idea of having a day set aside to recognize our Vietnam Veterans. When these men and women returned home from combat they were shunned and in fact were told to remove their uniforms before leaving the airplane to keep protestors from harrassing them. For years it was uncommon to see anyone wearing any type of clothing or memoriabilia showing that they were a Vietnam veteran; it just wasn’t something that they wanted people to know. But we have finally reached a time where the stigma of being a Vietnam veteran has been lifted. Our Vietnam veterans are now able to show who they are and not fear the ridicule of people who were opposed to the war so many years ago.
I think having a Welcome Home day for our Vietnam veterans is a good idea and finally shows them the recognition and appreciation they didn’t receive when they came home over fifty years ago.