Obama to Vietnam Veterans: Welcome home

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vietnamveteransVietnam Veteran Salutes President Obama

He had me at “my fellow citizens.”

But of the many remarkable things Barack Obama said as he assumed this office of president, this simple phrase spoke volumes to me, and no doubt to many of my fellow Vietnam veterans, numbering some 2.5-million with another 6+ million who served during the Vietnam era:

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

I’ll leave the analysis to others. I know what hearing that from the lips of our new President meant to me.

Vietnam, like Iraq, was a terrible mistake. But, as Vietnam Veterans Against the War have said for 40 years, it is possible — and fitting — to honor the warrior, not the war.

By mentioning Khe Sahn in the same breath as Lexington, Gettysburg, and Normandy, Obama has done that.   


Korean War Veteran Talks About Obama
T.R. Billings, a former drill sergeant and radar instructor at Fort Monmouth, has lived in Long Branch with his wife, Jennie, since the 1950s. They raised 11 children, including Marlow Tatum, who is serving with the National Guard in Iraq. Billings, a Korean War veteran who also served as an instructor in Vietnam during that war, said he has experienced much prejudice in his 76 years. But as he rejoiced over the swearing in yesterday of Barack Obama, he said he has no animosity toward white Americans. (Video by John O’Boyle)

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