Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today honored “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” today with the following remarks:
“While we cannot right the wrong done to the men and women returning from Vietnam, today we have an opportunity to recognize their service and thank them for entering harm’s way. While we remember the sacrifices these veterans made to preserve our freedom, we also honor the ultimate sacrifice made by their fallen comrades. Thank you to all of those who served in Vietnam, and belated welcome home.
“American servicemen and women in Vietnam took a strong stand against a very powerful and very real threat of communism. What they accomplished has made an enormous impact on the world today – a world where people are fighting to secure and protect democracy in their own countries.
“I encourage Americans across the country to take time today to honor the Vietnam veterans among our friends, family, and communities. What happened during the Vietnam War is a powerful reminder that we must continue to respect and welcome home American troops returning from war today. Never again should the nation disregard and denigrate a generation of veterans.”
Senator Burr introduced the resolution to designate March 30th as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” for the second consecutive year. To read the resolution, click here. Veterans, veterans’ advocacy groups, local and state governments across the country are participating in this day by adopting similar resolutions and hosting events in their communities.
American forces officially withdrew from Vietnam on March 30th 1973, according to the terms of the Treaty of Paris. American troops returned to a country divided in its opinions about the war. In total, more than 58,000 members of the United States Armed Forces lost their lives and more than 300,000 were wounded in Vietnam.
FROM HAGAN'S OFFICE
U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC) today is commemorating “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” Hagan also announced that the remains of Sergeant First Class Donald Shue, who was killed in action in Vietnam, were identified and will be returned to his family in North Carolina.
“A day of commemoration for our Vietnam veterans is long overdue,” said Hagan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “My husband, Chip, is a Vietnam veteran, and I understand the trials many of these brave men and women went through upon returning to the United States. While, one day is not enough to express our gratitude for their service and sacrifice, today we say welcome home to our Vietnam veterans.”
The U.S. Senate agreed unanimously to a resolution, introduced by North Carolina’s Senior Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, to declare March 30th as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” The Senate is encouraging Americans across the country to recognize Vietnam veterans for their sacrifice and demonstrate a warm welcome to these soldiers who returned from war in 1973 to a politically divided country.
At the end of Operation Homecoming in 1973, more than 2,600 Americans did not return from Southeast Asia -- they were unaccounted for. Since then, the remains of more than 900 Americans killed in the Vietnam War have been recovered and returned to their families. Sergeant First Class Shue’s remains were identified by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command Center, and will return home to North Carolina. Shue will be buried with his parents and brothers in Concord on May 1. He will get full military honors at his burial.
“Sergeant First Class Shue, and the more than 58,000 U.S. service members who died in Vietnam will never be forgotten. After so many years, I know it is a relief to his family that he will be welcomed home.”
Senator Hagan comes from a strong military family, in addition to her husband, Chip, who served in Vietnam, her father and brother also served in the Navy. Two of her nephews have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Hagan’s father-in-law was a two-star Marine General and veteran of WWII.