Veterans Honored at Fargo Air Museum During Vietnam Memorial Week

Vietnam veterans are getting the recognition they didn't get decades ago

FARGO, N.D. — In honor of Vietnam Memorial Week, those who served our country are recognized at the Fargo Air Museum.

But fifty years ago, they didn’t a warm welcome home.

“I have friends who were spit on, had things thrown at them, they didn’t want to wear the uniform, they felt ashamed, they were made to feel ashamed,” Joe Wallevand, a Vietnam veteran, said.

“Trying to berate, belittle people that are serving their country, when they were called upon to do so, just isn’t right, but that’s what happened back then,” Donald Faith, another Vietnam veteran, said.

He says they’ve always had each other: a brotherhood.

“One of the things we discovered when we came back was you would run into another veteran and that veteran would come up and say, ‘welcome home brother.’ It takes you awhile to understand that’s the only welcome home you’re going to get,” he said.

That’s why they’re glad to see the community and public officials like Gov. Doug Burgum and Sen. Kevin Cramer come together to offer thanks for their service.

It’s also a chance to remember who was killed or missing in action.

The Fargo Air Museum has artifacts on display taking visitors back to the Vietnam Era.

“I was raised patriotic, I am patriotic, I don’t think I’d do it any different,” Faith said.

One common theme is many of these veterans reflect on their experience with a sense of acceptance.

“We have recovered from that, the human spirit is dauntless. We accept what happened to us with perhaps a bad taste, but by golly we’re not going to let it happen to another generation,” Wallevand said.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News