Iraq Army Veteran Honors Vietnam Veterans

 June 26, 2021

To say Vietnam veterans were treated terribly would be a gross understatement. Yet, when these brave men came back from Vietnam, they were greeted by protestors and disdain.

In the war, 150,000 troops were wounded, and 58,000 lost their lives. The men saw untold horrors, and many of them never spoke of their time in Vietnam. Instead, many people referred to those who fought in Vietnam as baby killers and spit on them.

Righting a Wrong

One combat medic veteran is working to right the wrong that was done to the returning vets. How the men were treated never sat right with Army vet Steve Downey. Looking back at the situation, he is equally disgusted and impressed with the situation.

“They were spit at and ridiculed. But what do soldiers do? They don’t lay down, they say, here’s my new fight, let’s go.” 

Steve Downey

The government did not have any benefits set up for GI's that exist today. Veterans worked to lobby Congress to change how veterans were treated when they came back from war.

However, changing the opinion of the American public was much harder. Many did not change their outlook until after the Gulf War, and it took 9/11 before the majority became patriotic.

“We veterans who came after Vietnam Veterans owe them a debt of gratitude for our increased quality of life, care, and veteran benefits. Every iconic image of war or the military is either modern-day troops or World War II veterans. Vietnam and Korean War veterans are being skipped, and it seems like we don’t care. It’s insulting when you really get into it.”

Steve Downey

More Changes

Downey worked for Walter Reed after he came back from Iraq. When he left, he went to work as a part of the marketing team at Berry Law in Nebraska.

John Stevens Berry Sr. was a Vietnam Veteran and a recipient of the Bronze Star. His offices work with veterans across the U.S. In 2020, they talked about how they can honor Vietnam Vets, with that Operation Triumphus was born.

They began an interactive museum to start sharing Vietnam Veterans' stories to connect those who served and honor their legacy. Their site says, "We cannot replace the feelings of betrayal and loss that some Veterans felt on their return, but we can correct the course of sentiment to make sure that future generations understand and honor their legacy."

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13 comments on “Iraq Army Veteran Honors Vietnam Veterans”

  1. A soldier is always the last one thought about when war is over. They did what they were told to do and did it sometimes costing their own lives. No one thinks about these brave people when the uglies of society get in there paid for lives and think it happen to them because they deserve it. Remember the past and never let these things happen again.. we the people are just that. WE THE PEOPLE....

  2. West Moorland said give a week without politicians I can win the war/
    comments by Patten and MacArthur were similar

  3. There are some hearts who still care enough to think about your combats giving us OUR FREEDOM HERE !!! I take off my hat , and salute you for every effort you put into ugliness of war to give our country their freedom !!! THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU DID FOR OUR COUNTRY !!! I've never gone through it myself , but my Grandfather went through WW1 & WW2 ! My uncle ( His son , was in Nam for 11 years ) , and he came back a changed man ! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE FOR OUR FREEDOM !

  4. And don't forget the biggest P___K of all was kerry who went before congress and said our military were Barbarians.And I'm sure a lot of our older politicians and older heads of companies were in the protest and criticized and spit on the returning military

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  7. I can barely write this for the emotion felt from this man's video...He IS indeed a hero in my book. My own late husband suffered through that war, and for many years afterward, from his remembrances of that terrible time. No one knows what they suffered, truly, except the men themselves, and, a bit, their spouses and families. G-d bless this man and his effort, and G-d bless America!

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