Richmond Hill Mayor Harold Fowler is an Army veteran, but was sent to Germany instead of serving in Vietnam.
Now, he’s among those who want Richmond Hill to show its appreciation to veterans who did serve in Vietnam, and the city will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the war by recognizing local Vietnam and Vietnam-era veterans during a Nov. 11 ceremony at J.F. Gregory Park.
“I don’t think they got the credit they deserved back then,” he said. “I’d say most of the guys who came back didn’t get a good reception.”
But public opinion largely has changed toward the military since Desert Storm — and even those who may disagree with war are able to separate policy from those charged with carrying it out.
“Since the Gulf War, troops who come back have been welcomed by just about everyone,” Fowler said. “Vietnam veterans weren’t recognized or honored when they came back, and I think it left some scars. This is our way of officially recognizing them for their service. It’s our way of trying to help heal some of that.”
As of last Friday, the city had identified roughly 25 veterans who served in Vietnam. Those who served but haven’t contacted Richmond Hill and want to be both recognized and receive a certificate from the city can call Linda Blankenship at 756-2831 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.