Dozens came together this afternoon to honor Texas Vietnam veterans at the state capitol. March 29 is recognized by the legislature as Texas Vietnam Day.
Eddie Bell served in the Vietnam War from 1968-1969. He worked in communications at the Military Assistance Command Headquarters, helping out South Vietnam.
“The people of the United States were not enthused about the war itself, so coming home was not the best of welcomes,” Bell said.
He recalls the time when he came home, and was getting off of the bus.
“Nasty comments were being made, we had water thrown on us,” he said.
“This was really a very unpopular war. Many of us who served in Vietnam, like I did, felt unwelcome,” Senator Juan Hinojosa, District 20, said.
With hopes to change that attitude, Tuesday the organization Daughters of the American Revolution honored Texas Vietnam veterans with a formal service and wreath laying ceremony.
“The generations we've produced if you will, have finally made a decision that it's time to say welcome home to fathers, grandfathers, grandmothers and mothers,” Bell said.
This is the first year for the ceremony, but certainly not the last. Why March 29? The date marks the return of the last combat troops in 1973. Two years ago, the monument at the capitol was dedicated.
“This is a part of the healing process today, saying welcome home. I think if that continues, eventually all the negative things that went along with the Vietnam War will eventually go away,” Bell said.
Soldiers laid wreaths, remembering their fellow men and women. The ceremony was just a small gesture to pay respects to those who sacrificed their all.
The Daughters of the American Revolution is a lineage based organization comprised of women directly descended from people who fought for American independence.