DANSVILLE — It was a dark time in our history when soldiers fought and died for a country that did not welcome them back.
The Vietnam Era has left a mark on many generations of veterans for several decades. President Trump made March 29 Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Day last year for the first time.
On March 29 from 5 to 7 p.m. the Daniel Goho Post 87 will have their first ever Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Day in that honor.
All Vietnam Veterans are welcome to attend this event, and receive a pin for their service to our country.
Dansville American Legion Women’s Auxiliary Chaplain Kathy Nagle reached out to Genesee Country Express to get the word out about this important day.
“This is something we haven’t tried before. This is an actual day of recognition for our Vietnam Veterans that President Trump put together,” she said. “It is meant to recognize the soldiers who came back from Vietnam, and didn’t get recognized the way they should have when they came home.”
There were about 160 veterans in Dansville area that served in the Vietnam War. Most of them are snowbirds now, but about 50 of them are still in the area.
“We have pins to award those who served,” Nagle said. “We want to honor the ones who served. I know we have a couple that feel guilty their friends were sent over and they weren’t. This may be touchy for most of these veterans who served in Vietnam.”
Nagle added her husband is a Vietnam Veteran and he never likes to talk about the war. The idea for this event came from reading about it in a National American Legion magazine. Another form of inspiration came from a Vietnam War Documentary that was shown last year. Nagle said that her husband confirmed it was really like that over there.
“We want to honor them with this day, and if it all goes well we would like to keep it going,” she said. “This is open to all Vietnam Veterans. We want to get as many of them to come as we can. Our soldiers in World War II are all dying off, and we need to focus on the younger ones.”
Many other legions across the nation have done this, and they have gotten a lot of good responses from it.
“I brought this idea up at our last meeting,” Nagle said. “I didn’t have a lot of time to plan this. I hope they don’t think that just because they didn’t get recognized when they came home it make them feel like why do it now.”
Nagle said those she has reached out to so far are looking forward to it.
Livingston County Veteran Affairs may be part of the event as well.
“Some of these veterans don’t know what they are entitled to,” Nagle said. “The county can help with all of that.”
An invite was sent out to the Dansville VFW as well, since most of them are Vietnam Veterans.
“One of the things I would like to see happen is more interaction between the legion and the VFW,” Nagle said. “We need to bring everyone together.”