Vietnam vets honored

Pictured, from left, are VSO Dan Brookbank, U.S. Air Force, 1970-74; Robert Wooten, U.S. Navy CV, 1967-69; Rob Higgins, U.S. Navy, 1991-96, and a member of the Indiana Dept. of Veteran Affairs; George Shepherd, U.S. Marine Corp, 1964-67; and Vernon Cartwright, U.S. Army, 1964-67.

Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans (WHVV) in partnership with the Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs honored any and all Vietnam veterans who came to their event last Thursday at the Jennings County Public Library.

WHVV Executive Director Jill Fewell coordinated the event, which recognized and honored veterans from all U.S. military branches living in Indiana who served from 1955 to 1975 by gifting them a copy of the “A Time To Honor” book and DVD as well as a WHVV pin.

Over half a century has passed since the Vietnam War, and decades’ worth of novels, films, and music have dramatized and mythologized the controversial conflict. But “A Time To Honor” approaches the war in a uniquely personal way, focusing on individual stories of the men and women from every state and service who served in Vietnam. Their day-to-day experiences are heartbreaking, raw, detailed, and occasionally humorous. Over 58,000 troops lost their lives in Vietnam, yet the survivors came home to bitterly divided countrymen whose hostility toward the war spilled over to the warriors.

“Many of them didn’t get the welcome they deserved when they came home,” said Fewell, who explained that the goal of WHVV is to find, thank and repay those who served during the Vietnam War, and to also connect them to the benefits they rightly deserve.

According to Fewell, there are 120,000-130,000 Vietnam Hoosiers, and half of them aren’t receiving their benefits. Events like the one held at the county library help connect veterans to necessary people and resources.

With 63 events across 31 counties, WHVV has presented over 4000 gifts to veterans, but the search is still on to find every Vietnam veteran and thank them.

If you are a veteran or know of one who can benefit from the WHVV, you can contact 317-969-8300 or visit their website www.whvv.org.