I attended the Veterans Day ceremony at the Placerville Veterans Memorial with my husband, a Vietnam veteran. Around us were other Vietnam vets and their wives. We enjoyed talking and getting to know one another. Some we knew from past ceremonies as well as other community events, others were new acquaintances. The men always seem to easily slip into a special bond with each other, even if total strangers, particularly those that had been in the infantry. They have learned over the years, especially the early years, to rally together for that support and comradeship that our nation denied them for so long.
We hear all of the time about honoring the WWII veterans (as we should) and the outpouring of support of today’s soldiers and their families is extremely heartwarming. A Veterans Day ceremony should be a place a veteran should be able to come and feel welcome and comfortable, not feel as an outcast and shunned.
So, there we were enjoying the presentation of the colors and that wonderful Ponderosa choir. And then Chief Heller, the new chief of police for Placerville, the master of ceremonies, began recognizing all of the veterans that served this nation in our wars and conflicts, even the veterans of Grenada that only lasted about two months. However, once again, just as Supervisor Ron Mikulaco did at last year’s Veterans Day ceremonies, the veterans of Vietnam were left out. I thought that by now this nation and especially this county would have gotten over this negative attitude towards Vietnam veterans. Only when one of them, a door gunner, called out a reminder did the chief acknowledge the Vietnam veterans.
This just cannot happen again. Not in this county. It is outrageous and totally unacceptable.