Vietnam Veterans Honored by Congress

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BRYAN - When US troops came home from the Vietnam, there were no parades, no one really thanked them for their sacrifice

While there is no way to turn back the clock, Congress is trying to take a small step in the right direction by declaring Monday "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day."

The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 937 held a ceremony at the Brazos Valley Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Downtown Bryan to commemorate the day.

"We made a commitment that we would have services here marking veterans' good days and bad days and this is the start," said Gerry Hince with Chapter 937.

"We're celebrating the 42nd anniversary of the last US servicemen leaving Vietnam," said President of Chapter 937, Barry Stocks.

"Our young folks today, my sons included, get thanked when they come home from deployments and people are big time on saying, 'thank you for your service,'" Hince said.

"When we came back from Vietnam, we were sort of left out in the cold, nobody recognized us," said US Army Veteran Donald Graesser.

"It was an unpopular war. Most veterans that went over there, either they either supported it or didn't, but they went over because it was their duty. They did their duty to the best of their ability," Stocks said.

But the lack of well-deserved recognition ended Monday.

"Something that's long overdue and we're just happy that they passed it in Congress so that we can celebrate it," Stocks said.

"They're phenomenal members of our community. So they're setting the example for young troops today," Hince said. "They didn't get it when they should have, but now they're getting it."

"This is now another thing that shows that we are respected," Graesser said.

As of right now, there are 57 Veterans' names from the seven counties in the Brazos Valley on the memorial.