Welcome Home, Vietnam Veterans

Today, the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs announces a new location for their “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” event happening on Wednesday, March 28. This event was initially scheduled to be held at the new Louisiana Veterans Memorial Park. Due to the forecasted inclement weather, the event venue has been changed to American Legion Post #38.

“Our goal is to make this Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day a major recognition event for the Vietnam Veterans in our state, regardless of the weather,” said LDVA Secretary Joey Strickland. “We want them to know that we are proud of their service and want to let them know that in a meaningful way.”

The LDVA would especially like to thank our generous sponsors, Baton Rouge Texas Roadhouse for donating the food, Humana Veterans for donating the drinks and healthy desserts, and the American Legion Post #38 for graciously allowing us to use their meeting hall at this late hour.

Forty-five years have passed since the last U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam. Due to the unpopularity of the war, veterans returning home were often met with disdain and did not receive support or gratitude for their service.

“Some of these men and women were actually treated quite poorly which was a tragic period in our history driven by people’s perceptions of the war,” said LDVA Secretary Strickland who is himself a combat Vietnam Veteran. “Fortunately, that is behind us now and today’s generations of Veterans are welcomed home with honor and respect.”

Hundreds of people from around the state are expected to attend this celebration, including Vietnam Veterans, families, service men and women from across generations and branches of service, Gold Star families, and veteran service organizations. As part of their long-delayed welcome home, Vietnam Veterans will be recognized, receive commemorative pins, bumper stickers, and thanks from attendees and special guests.

The day’s events include an official ceremony, performances by the 156th United States Army Band from Bossier City, remarks by several keynote speakers, including Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, a resource fair, food, drinks, and Vietnam War era music.

The LDVA invites Vietnam Veterans, friends, families, veteran service organizations, and members of our communities across the state to join us for our “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans” day event now being held from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the American Legion Post, located at 151 South Wooddale Drive in Baton Rouge, La., on Wednesday, March 28.