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Operation Welcome Home Hotlink

Why welcome Vietnam Veterans Home over 30 years
after the fact?

Because we didn't do it when we should have! The OWH celebrations held in 2005 and 2006 proved that it is never too late to right a wrong and change a life! We finally seem to understand that nobody dislikes war more than the GI who has to go and fight it. We can now embrace and appreciate the young people who headed off to Southeast Asia in the ‘60s and ‘70s. We can also say ‘thank you’ to those who fought in Korea in the early ‘50s, or in Europe and the Pacific during WWII, or in Iraq in 1991, or Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003 – and every place and time in between where American GIs have courageously stood against tyranny and oppression.


Who does the celebration honor?
Operation Welcome Home began as a celebration for ANYONE who served in Southeast Asia - all branches of the military and all support personnel: male, female, soldiers, sailors, airmen, doctors, nurses, media - all those who answered their nation's call. It is evolving into a celebration of ANYONE who has served. Period. That includes our GIs from the Korean conflict, those who served in Bosnia, Panama, Grenada, Somalia and any other conflict, operation or mission.

There will always be a special focus on the Vietnam veterans – because they have been so misportrayed in our popular culture. In addition to celebrating their service in Southeast Asia, AVI and Operation Welcome Home seeks to draw attention to their contributions since returning to the states! The great myth in American society is that of the burned-out, detached and delusional Vietnam veteran. Nothing could be further from the truth. Vietnam veterans are active, involved and productive people who are community leaders and contributing members of society! They are your doctor, lawyer, teacher, banker, musician, accountant, neighbor, friend and co-worker. They are the backbone of America and it is time we said THANK YOU and WELCOME HOME.

How can I help?

First and foremost ...THANK A VETERAN. Make it a point to engage and appreciate a Vietnam veteran. But also remember to thank the folks who served in WW II, Korea, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq…and every other place and time in between! To promote, support or donate to the 2008 Indiana event, please write us at Info@AmericanVeteransInstitute.org.

www.NationalOperationWelcomeHome.com provides additional information for you to pass along to family, friends and the media.

Talk to people in your community about holding your own Operation Welcome Home event. To get started, email us at Info@AmericanVeteransInstitute.org for more information! We will provide guidelines, promotional materials, fundraising ideas and much more.

 

Why do Vietnam Veterans say “Welcome Home”
to each other?
Quite simply because no one else really ever did! When our soldiers returned from Southeast Asia, they were warned to remove their uniforms before passing through the airport terminal - or be prepared to deal with the taunts of protesters. Later, they were advised to remove their tours of duty from resumes and professional documents, lest they be perceived as unstable or haunted. Thousands of young men and women returned to the states with vivid stories and memories...but no one wanted to hear them. After over 15 years of involvement in Vietnam, the public wanted to forget. Unfortunately, in our attempt to forget Vietnam, we also forgot to thank all those who served there with honor and courage.

Doesn’t the Vietnam Memorial in Washington serve
the same purpose?
No. "The Wall" rightfully honors the sacrifice of those who gave ALL. Operation Welcome Home acknowledges those who returned home — but returned home to a country at war with itself. Operation Welcome Home acknowledges the powerful legacy of the Vietnam veteran and the importance of showing our gratitude to all those who defend our freedom.

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