Pinners congregate in San Diego for a hands-on experience
No longer forgotten: Congressman Scott Peters has been making the rounds locally to visit groups of Vietnam-era veterans. He is presenting them pins in honor of their service in the unpopular conflict, which is observing its 50th anniversary.
“In the late ’60s and early ’70s, when a lot of us came home, the reception was not warm and fuzzy,” says former Marine Corps Capt. Sandy Purdon, who recalls the unfriendly greeting by protesters when he landed at Travis Air Force Base. He was among a group of nearly 50 Vietnam-era veterans who met with Peters on Vietnam Veterans Day in Point Loma. “We all tended to hibernate a little bit and not talk about our experiences.”
Earlier that day, Peters had presented lapel pins to about 40 vets and their spouses at a ceremony at the Veterans Administration’s regional benefit office. He also stopped at Veterans Village of San Diego.
Peters’ office is one of several that has officially partnered with the U.S.A. Vietnam War Commemoration program overseen by the Department of Defense to properly honor Vietnam-era military personnel.
“The veterans who made it back home were forever changed,” noted Peters. “Unfortunately, they also returned to a nation who greeted them with hate and indifference, due to the controversial nature of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. That blame should have never been placed on heroes who served their country.”