JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Vietnam veterans, current and former servicemen and women along with their families, are asked to gather at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on Sunday, Nov. 14, to thank the men who served during the Vietnam War.
“Our Vietnam veterans are truly the unsung heroes of the 60s and 70s,” said Judge Mose Floyd. “The country called on them and asked them to serve at a time of war and they answered the call.”
“For about 20 years after the Vietnam War, they were the only actual fighting experience in all branches of the service so they trained two generations of warfighters and I believe they are largely responsible for the great success we achieved in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Floyd who is a local judge, but also a retired Marine lieutenant colonel.
Anti-war sentiment at the time made these servicemen feel unappreciated.
“They came home and did not receive the heroes’ welcome they deserved. Far from it, and that was wrong. Many of them are now in their 70s and 80s, some in their 90s, and suffered from disease directly associated with their services in Vietnam. It is time to correct that wrong,” explained Floyd.
The Veterans and Military Affairs Committee of the Jacksonville Bar Association, Vets for Vets and the local Vietnam Veterans Association are helping organize the “Welcome Home” event to honor these veterans for their service, their valor and their selfless commitment to our country.
“Some would say, ‘Why now? Isn’t it too late?’” said Floyd. “I say it’s never too late to correct a wrong.”
Doors open at the arena at noon on Nov. 14. The event is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. There will be a procession of honor of Vietnam Veterans at 12:55 p.m.
Rocky Bleier, a Vietnam vet and Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl champion, will be the guest speaker. The Navy Band will also perform. Lunch and parking are free (parking lot Z) for veterans and their families. While the event is free, organizers ask that you please RSVP as soon as possible so they can arrange to have enough food for the event. You can also call to register by calling 904-399-4486 or click here: https://www.jaxbar.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1541578&group=.