Vietnam Veterans Reunion Day

Richard Reuer


It was brought to my attention by another veteran who served during Vietnam a letter to the editor by Robert Wefald of Bismarck in the Bismarck Tribute on Friday, April 5. Here is just a sample of what he wrote:

“A ceremony was held at the Capital on March 29, a day each year designated as Vietnam Veterans Day. As a Vietnam veteran who served on a destroyer off the coast of Vietnam in 1966, I believe such a day is completely unnecessary. There is no World War One Veterans Day, there is no World War Two Veterans Day, there is no Korean War Veterans Day, nor is there a Gulf War or War on Terror Veterans Day. All veterans of all wars and conflicts have only one Veterans Day, and that is the one celebrated on November 11 every year!

“We Vietnam veterans do not need our own Veterans Day. This day is simply an attempt to correct the shameful treatment by their fellow Americans of many of those who served in Vietnam, particularly after the 1968 Tet Offensive. We are proud of our service. We do not need to be thanked for our service, nor do we need to be “welcomed home.” We’ve been home for 50 years, in case you haven’t noticed.”

Thank you Robert Wefald for sharing and expressing your thoughts and concerns, but when you say “We Vietnam veterans” I know that you must be referring to a few that you may know, but I have seen the growth in our community here in Minot every year coming and expressing their thanks for those who served during the Vietnam conflict and are still among us.

In some way I agree in part with your reasoning behind your letter that other War of Eras are not given the same thing. So, as I shared with my friend, who shared your letter to me, that maybe instead of calling it Vietnam Veterans Day, maybe call it Vietnam Veterans Reunion Day and do the same with WWI, WWII, Korean, etc. It would be hard though to have a reunion for WWI as we do not have any living veterans during that era, but there are family members possibly.

I and other veterans that are a part of a ministry I put together “Honoring Those Who Served-Ministry”, which started out back in January 2012 where I would only send out sympathy cards to our fallen veterans family members within our community thanking them for their loved ones service.

Just last year in April this ministry formed into a breakfast group that would meet on the fourth Saturday every month except for the months of May, November, and December. The purpose of this breakfast group was to bring all veterans within our community to the Homesteaders to fellowship together around the breakfast table. Not only just doing that, but planning program ideas that we as veterans could bring the community together in educating them that veterans are not only for Memorial Day and Veterans Day, we have come up with remembering and thanking veterans as follows: March-Medal of Honor; May – Memorial Day; June- Flag Day; July – Independence Day; August – Purple Heart; September – POW/MIA; November – Veterans Day; and December – Pearl Harbor.

We also plan special projects for the community to join in working along side with the veterans, one in general is our spring project. Here we get the community together to help in preparing three veteran sections within our local cemetery in beautifying and making these areas ready for our annual Memorial Day event.

I hope that with my sharing these thoughts would enlighten your letter and help those to be given in maybe thinking of changing the Vietnam Veterans Day to Vietnam Veterans Reunion Day.

Thank you for your service and to all those who are still serving this great nation to protect our freedom.