Tragically, around the time of the Vietnam War, returning veterans didn’t receive a warm welcome and the respect they deserved. However, a recent ceremony had veterans honoring their fallen Vietnam comrades by installing a memorial at a high school where 10 of them graduated.
In Simi Valley, California, a special ceremony honored 10 Simi Valley High School graduates who served in Vietnam and paid the ultimate price. The tribute took place on the day before 9/11, right before the Friday night football game in Simi Valley.
Additionally, veterans put together a monument for the fallen, including plaques with each of the 10 names on them. One of the veterans who helped build the monument, Bruce Dobin, laments how no one recognized the Vietnam heroes. “No one really admitted and praised the alumni who graduated from Simi High School who were killed in Vietnam,” he told ABC 7.
Another veteran who assisted, Bruce Hellebrand, also commented on the monument. “It’s even more important to put together a monument for Simihai graduates decades ago. Each plaque has a plaque attached to it, and each plaque is engraved with 10 names.”
Veteran Ronald Huntley told the news outlet everyone should be thankful for those who serve. “When you see someone in uniform working for you, remember that they are protecting you and protecting our national interests. So take the time … Thank you for your service. Thank you for what you are doing and God’s blessing.”
Colorado Man Rallies Community to Help Vietnam Veteran Who Lost Everything in Wildfire
With this year bringing a horde of wildfires, many people have lost their homes and worse. A Colorado veteran noticed a Vietnam veteran nearly lost everything from a wildfire and rallied the community to help.
Zach Smith organized an effort to help a fellow veteran clean his property. Smith learned about the veteran’s terrible situation from a friend. “When I got up there, I was like ‘Man, this was a lot more than you, and I or just a small handful of volunteers can accomplish,” Smith told FOX 31.
Not only is the veteran in question more than 70-years-old with health problems but the Black Forest wildfire destroyed 10 acres of land he owned and 300 trees. He also lost a woodshop full of old tools. After all was said and done, scrap metal and dead trees littered his property, which county code enforcement officials told him was a violation.
Because of that, Smith started “Operation Burn Scar” on August 28 through his company, US Veteran Woodworks. Organizing a cleaning day through Facebook, it was a massive success. “There was every age group, there were 70-year-olds rolling chain saws, there was kids picking up wood. You could leave that place knowing that you did something good for somebody,” Smith said.
Clearing 20 tons of scrap metal, 150 cut down trees, and 150 cleared trees, the Vietnam veteran’s “whole demeanor” changed by the end of the day, clearly touched by the group’s efforts.