Family, Friends Welcome Detroit Lakes Area National Guard Troops Home
Second Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Detroit Lakes Area National Guard Troops Return Home
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – The Second Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Detroit Lakes Area National Guard troops have returned home after landing at Hector International Airport.
Just under 100 troops from the Brainerd-based 1-194 Task Force returned home after spending just under a year deployed in the Middle East. The troops assisted with evacuations in Kabul, Afghanistan and provided medical assistance for more than 5,000 Afghan civilians in Kuwait.
Vietnam veterans seeing the service members return find it especially important to welcome those coming back.
“We as Vietnam veterans didn’t get the kind of welcome that we wanted like these guys. It breaks me up every time I have to talk about this, but it’s very important. We wanna welcome them back, we honor their service and we’re hoping they’ll remember ours,” Joe Wallevand said.
The Vietnam Vets remember how they were treated when they came back home to a divided country in the 1970s.
“When I left Vietnam, one guy I had in basic, he was a buyer for a corporation in Minneapolis and invited me to a party, and this lady was like ‘I understand you were in Vietnam,’ I said I was, and she said ‘Did you kill anybody?’ and I said, ‘Well, I was in infantry and I’m alive, I’m pretty sure I must have’ and she spit in my face, so, I don’t want to see that happen again,” Vietnam veteran Brian Turner said.
The Vietnam veterans were reminded of the past when the Detroit Lakes group returned home, but feel relief seeing the positive reaction from fellow visitors as they came home.