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Vietnam veterans honored on Vietnam Veterans Day

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In small towns and large cities across America, veterans of the Vietnam war will be honored on Vietnam Veterans Day, observed March 29-30 in locations across the United States.

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The last U.S. troops left South Vietnam on March 29, 1973, two months after the signing of the Vietnam peace agreement, according to History.com.

Unlike veterans who returned home from World War I and World War II, there were no ticker tape parades or parties in the street welcoming Vietnam veterans home.

Many Vietnam veterans returned home to criticism, hostility and anger from their fellow Americans. The Vietnam War was the first televised war, stirring up mixed emotions among Americans.

Some Americans were proud of the troops supporting freedom while others grew weary of seeing the destruction of war on the daily news.

Many feel that news coverage of the Vietnam War became increasingly slanted after the My Lai massacre in 1968 and focused only on atrocities committed by U.S. troops.

Protests against America's involvement in the Vietnam War took place on college campuses across the country and mass protests around the world.

Raised in an Army family, my siblings and I were taught to stand for freedom and support our country's war heroes and veterans.

More than 3 million people, including 58,000 Americans, were killed in the conflict between North Vietnam and South Vietnam.

President John F. Kennedy sent the first large force of U.S. troops to Vietnam in 1961. President Lyndon Johnson escalated our involvement in the war.

President Nixon began troop withdrawal in 1969 and intensified bombing in Vietnam in the early 1970s before the peace agreement was signed.

A movement has been ongoing for several years to honor Vietnam veterans for their service and dedication to the cause of freedom.

The Vietnam Veterans of America Facebook page notes events taking place across the country including a Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration on March 29 in Carson City, Nev.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. was dedicated in 1982. The memorial known as "The Wall" honors the men and women who served in Vietnam.

As Vietnam Veterans Day is observed in America and abroad, I join in saluting the brave men and women who answered freedom's call and served their country with honor during the Vietnam War.

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