Whitefield event honors Vietnam vets
Many current soldiers attended the event honoring Vietnam veterans, as well as several vets from the N.H. Veterans home. (Debra Thornblad)
"We acknowledge and commemorate the military service of our men and women in Vietnam," Chaplain Col. Thomas Behling of the New Hampshire National Guard said in his invocation. "Many still fight personal battles. We ask you to intervene for each and every one."
"For some of you, that had to have been bittersweet," he said. "But times are changing. Every soldier deserves a heroes welcome, and by God this is yours."
A video was shown during the event of a younger soldier getting the recognition he deserves while a Vietnam soldier sits unnoticed, at first, at a lunch counter. A young boy, after getting his picture taken with the younger soldier, asks the older man whether he's a hero, too.
Reddel said that's what the Vietnam War became, a stigmatized war.
"Fortunately, the nation as a whole has gotten to a better place," he said.
He said the military believes it should never leave a fallen soldier behind, but "fallen'' doesn't necessarily mean "physically injured.''
"To all Vietnam veterans who are receiving this long overdue welcome: Thank you," Gov. Maggie Hassan said.
Looking over the crowd, she said, "We are an all-hands-on-deck state, and you proved it again today.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen noted everyone has a tendency to look at the past with nostalgia.
"Today, we want to make sure you know we recognize your service and are grateful," she said.
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