March 30, 2011, has been officially designated Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day by the U.S. Senate. It marks the 38th anniversary of the withdrawal of U.S. combat and combat-support units from Vietnam.
Vietnam magazine, Armchair General magazine and World History Group salute all those who served—ground troops, aircrews, brownwater and bluewater navy crews, nurses, doctors, support personnel. Thank you for your service. Welcome home. And to those who didn’t make it home, thank you for your sacrifice.
On March 30, make a special effort to say, “Welcome home.” Honor a Vietnam veteran you know with a short note in Comments below, whether to say, “Welcome Home” or “You live in our hearts.”
On March 30, 1973, all U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam. There were no ticker-tape parades honoring the veterans, no triumphant marches or speeches as there had been at the end of each of the World Wars. America’s Vietnam veterans returned home to silence, or worse, in some cases to denigration for having served their country during a controversial war.
The U.S. Senate resolution was introduced by Sen. Richard Burr (R–North Carolina), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. This is the second consecutive year he has introduced such a resolution.
The text of the announcement of the resolution’s passage appears below.
Washington D.C – Today, Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, introduced a resolution to honor veterans who served in Vietnam by designating March 30th as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” March 30th marks the anniversary of the day that combat and combat support units withdrew completely from South Vietnam.
“Our soldiers served honorably and bravely in Vietnam. Unfortunately, they arrived home to a country in political turmoil, and never received the recognition they deserve,” Senator Burr said. “By setting March 30th aside as a day to focus on our Vietnam veterans, we can show our unified gratitude for their service and the sacrifices that these veterans made on our behalf.”
Senator Burr today also encouraged communities throughout the country to take measures to commemorate this day by honoring Vietnam veterans in their area. This is the second consecutive year that Senator Burr has introduced a resolution for the establishment of “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” Senators John Boozman (R-AR), Thad Cochran (R-MS), James Inhofe (R-OK), and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) co-sponsored the legislation.
The United States became involved in Vietnam because policy-makers believed that if South Vietnam fell to a communist government, communism would spread throughout the rest of Southeast Asia. The US Armed Forces began serving in an advisory role to the South Vietnamese in 1961, and in 1965, ground combat troops were sent into Vietnam. After many years of combat, all US troops were withdrawn from Vietnam on March 30, 1973, under the terms of the Treaty of Paris. More than 58,000 members of the United States Armed Forces lost their lives and more than 300,000 were wounded in Vietnam.