Vietnam Veterans Day
Veterans Day, 2006, City and County
Fathers overlooked 5 Vietnam Veterans who attended the yearly ceremony. All
other Veterans from All of the other military conflicts were recognized.
In February of 2007 Ron Dyer came to me with his concerns that if something wasn't done to recognize our Brothers and Sisters from that very unpopular war, we would simply just fade away without ever being thanked for what we all had done for our country. I agreed with Ron and within 30 days we were on our way to creating History not only in our small but growing community but also with the State of Tennessee and eventually in the entire U.S.A..
At the start, it was just the two of us working on a plan of success. The first proclamation came surprisingly easy from the City of Crossville. The release of this accomplishment in the local newspapers struck a fire in Vietnam Veterans and they started to volunteer to help Ron and I to spread the word about a planned event to be held on March 29 & 30, 2008 called "Welcome Home".
Within days of the City Proclamation, the Cumberland County Mayor's Office joined in with their own, Proclamation. The chain of command was responding.
At Walmart where Ron and I work, Veterans were now starting to wear their military hats, showing their pride for serving their Country. The words, "Welcome Home and Thank You", were being heard throughout our community on an ever growing basis. A movement had taken shape and the number of helpers was growing.
On May 7, 2008 history was made in the State of Tennessee when Governor Phil Bredesen signed a proclamation making March 29th Vietnam Veterans Day. This action was later followed up by a Bill making March 29th. a legal day of remembrance. We had now accomplished what others had failed to do anywhere in our country. The cat was now out of the bag.
In my process of letting Vietnam Veterans from all over our country know about Welcome Home, I was also getting volunteers from other states to do what we had done here and before "Welcome Home" there were 4 other states who had accomplished the proclamation and Bill trail. Vietnam Veterans from every corner of our country were now talking about Vietnam Veterans Day and even one from Australia.
Mr. Francis Edwards from Australia made contact and asked what he could do to help his brothers from across the ocean. I told him what we had planned and he started to do what he was best at, Song Writing and Singing. Within the first 24 hours of our initial contact, Francis had written our perfect theme song, "Welcome Home and Thank You". Francis went on to write 5 more songs which have all been put together on one C/D titled "Vietnam Dreamscape/American Edition. Francis also made the trip from Australia to "Welcome Home" on March 29&30, 2008.
Approx. 10,000 Vietnam Veterans attended "Welcome Home" in 2008. Politicians also came to see for themselves what all the legislation was all about and they went away with a whole new outlook. The politicians never heard war stories like they thought they would but they did hear what "Welcome Home" meant to the Veteran. Finally after 35 years of silence, these brave men and women were thanked for their service and Officially Welcomed Home.
"Welcome Home" consisted of Brotherhood most of all but also a parade, vendors, food and two days of entertainment. "Welcome Home Reunion 2009" consisted of more of the same for those that couldn't make it last year or those who just want to reunite with friends made at last years event. Approx $5,000.00 was raised and went directly to Veterans. "Welcome Home Reunion 2009 will do the same in the way of donations.
One big side effect from "Welcome Home" is a House Resolution introduced by Congressman Heath Shuler, H.R.1231, which created March 29th as Vietnam Veterans Day nation wide and is now starting to appear on 2009 calendars.
The organizing committee of, "Welcome Home" are looking forward to this event becoming larger and larger as the years progress and want every Veteran to know that the service they performed in the name of Freedom will always be acknowledged at "Welcome Home".
The Crossville City Council Voted on unanimously to pass a bill to rename part of Interstate 40 from just east of Exit 322 to just west of exit 317 as Vietnam Veterans Highway. The State did name that section. We thank Mayor Graham and the City Council and the State for this, and all the help they gave us in our celebration.
TENNESSEE MAKE THE 29TH OF MARCH VIETNAM VETERANS DAY
A copy of the Resolution Made May 22nd 2008 Whereas the Vietnam War was the longest military conflict in United States history; (Introduced in House)
HRES 1231 IH
H. RES. 1231
Supporting the goals and ideals of Vietnam Veterans Day and calling on the American people to recognize such a day.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 22, 2008
Mr. SHULER (for himself, Mr. JONES of North Carolina, Ms. MCCOLLUM of Minnesota, Mr. SESTAK, Mr. ROHRABACHER, Ms. SHEA-PORTER, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. DREIER, Ms. BORDALLO, Ms. CORRINE BROWN of Florida, Mr. FILNER, Mr. YOUNG of Alaska, and Mr. WALZ of Minnesota) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Supporting the goals and
ideals of Vietnam Veterans Day and calling on the American people to
recognize such a day.
Whereas the Vietnam War was the longest military conflict in United States history;
Whereas more than 3,000,000 Americans served in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War;
Whereas more than 58,000 Americans lost their lives defending the Nation's freedom during the Vietnam conflict;
Whereas 304,000 additional Americans were wounded during the war;
Whereas on March 29, 1973, the last remaining members of the United States Armed Forces withdrew from Vietnam; and
Whereas the United States does not have a national day of recognition specifically for Vietnam veterans: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
(1) supports the goals and ideals of Vietnam Veterans Day; and
(2) calls on the American people to recognize such a day to remember those men and women who sacrificed their lives defending the Nation in the Vietnam conflict, to recognize the prisoners of war and those members of the Armed Forces who are missing in action, and to honor all Vietnam veterans who served the Nation faithfully to protect its freedom.