Connect with us

U.S. News

Louisiana veterans “welcomed home” on National Vietnam War Veterans Day



MONROE, La. – Monday, March 29, 2021, marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Groups in Northeast Louisiana and across the country thanked our local veterans for their service.

Nine million men and women answered the call to serve, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). We caught up with dozens of veterans at the Chennault Aviation Museum, including Monroe Mayor Friday Ellis. They took part in a virtual ceremony with veterans nationwide. Additionally, Mayor Ellis was awarded a certificate in honor of his service in the Marines.

“Being a veteran myself and understanding, that I have friends that lost and gave their ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield for their country. It’s being here for our veterans and letting them know today that they are valued. And again, I’ll circle back around. We live our lives today because of the sacrifice. It was their call to duty, when their country needed them, and they stepped up and said, ‘send me, I’ll go’,” said the mayor.

Organizers gave the former service members warm handshakes, pinned them and presented them with special challenge coins that read “welcome home Vietnam veterans”. Vietnam veteran and Veterans of Foreign Wars in the United States (VFW) Post Commander 3933 George Anzelmo was surprised to learn that this is a special day set aside to honor himself and his colleagues in Ouachita Parish. He’s planning to add a challenge coin he received at the aviation museum to his growing collection.

“I’m real happy that they’re finally getting around to thanking the Vietnam veterans because they surely do need it. There were so many that cried themselves to pieces after coming home or drank themselves to death or whatever. And I know. I was danged near one of them,” recalled Anzelmo.

Meanwhile, people at VFW post 1809 off Louisiana Highway 594 in Monroe honored veterans Bob Marble, Lavel Rambin and Roger Stoffer. Heart of Hospice sponsored the event.

“Our Vietnam veterans, they served this country honorably. They weren’t welcomed home the way they should have been, and we wanted to partner with Heart of Hospice today to give them a proper welcome home,” explained VFW Post Commander 1809 Christopher LeGuin.

The men received special pins, and were given challenge coins and meals.

LeGuin said the Rodney J. Hobbs VFW strives to serve the community every day.

“We try to focus on combat veterans. We help all veterans with their disability claims or any challenges they may face. We strive to maintain a relief fund. We try to help veterans and spouses of veterans in need. That’s our goal,” LeGuin said.

President Barack Obama proclaimed March 29 Vietnam Veterans Day in 2012. Five years later, the day was changed to National Vietnam War Veterans Day by the Trump Administration, according to the VA.

This year, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden spent the day at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington to commemorate the occasion.