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Welcome home, Vietnam vets!

When many soldiers came home from Vietnam, they came home in groups of two or three. Often they were not given the respect or thanks they deserved.

Next week, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Western Washington will honor those soldiers from Vietnam. The base will host a thank you homecoming to Vietnam veterans from all branches of the service.

“The four-hour celebration is intended to look a lot like the military ceremonies Vietnam veterans might remember from their time in the service. It’ll include a parade in formations led by military flags, a pinning ceremony for veterans to receive recognition for their service, and remarks from decorated Vietnam veteran retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey.”

And for all those people who served in Vietnam, who cannot attend: the country thanks you for your courage, your dedication and your service to our country.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway

The state of Idaho has found a concrete way to recognize Vietnam War veterans in a year that marks the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin incident.

On Tuesday, the state officially declared Interstate 84 in Idaho as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway.

“It goes further than a thank you. This really is an act of appreciation,” said Capt. Henry Parker, commander of the Idaho Department of the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

Parker and his organization were leading advocates who persuaded Idaho state lawmakers to approve the designation earlier this year. Mike Prager, SR

Do you think this is a fitting way to honor Vietnam vets?

Fly fishing gives Vietnam vet a day of peace

FISHING — The photo above shows Double Spey Outfitters fly fishing guide G.L. Britton in the process of aiding Vietnam-Gulf War veteran Harold Watters of Cheney catch and release a feisty rainbow Tuesday.

They were enjoying the sunny day on a locally organized Project Healing Waters outing at Crab Creek.

Well done.

Had a wonderful day," Watters said by emaiI last night. "I was able to excape my PTSD for the day, and for that I thank you."

Honoring Vietnam vets

Leeman Able, a member of the Shoshone Paiute tribe, stands at the Washington Vietnam Memorial Friday during a ceremony to welcome home Vietnam veterans.

OLYMPIA — Saturday is officially "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day" under a bill passed by the Legislature and signed Friday by Gov. Jay Inslee.

To mark the occasion, a ceremony spearheaded by the Yakama Nation and various veterans groups held a ceremony at the state's Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall on the Capitol Campus Friday, with a drum circle, tribal songs and a bugler playing "Taps."

Many veterans who returned from Vietnam were not welcomed home at the time, and some were shunned, speakers said, simply for carrying out the orders of their leaders.

Washington became the eighth state to pass a law making March 30 a day to honor Vietnam veterans.