Correcting History: How Vietnam Vets Were Embraced

Photo credit: David Lisbona (Flickr)

Why is it that the American people rejected our troops who served in Vietnam? We know all about the protests not only against the war, but against those who served. Why were there no demonstrations of support? Why was there no welcome home parade? What if what we know about Americans’ lack of support for our troops in Vietnam is wrong?

Impressive evidence has been revealed, showing what we thought we knew was wrong all along.

The media have a great deal of control over the events that we think about. We only know about current events that get reported. When events are omitted from the record, history is effectively changed. In the early 1970s, we had only three national TV networks and a few newspapers that had a national reach. Today, the Internet is making it harder for important events to ignored. We can now read news from a vast number of outlets, both major and minor, from around the world.

The Internet is also permitting the collection and dissemination of historical material that was largely ignored outside of the local media during the Vietnam War. Americans’ patriotism did not wane during Vietnam; it was simply not widely reported. This collection of our forgotten history can be found at a new website sponsored by NCRP, the National Committee for Responsible Patriotism, a group that has been around for many years but more recently has been forgotten.

Included in this online repository is rare video of the third longest parade in U.S. history. That parade was called the “Support Our Men In Vietnam Parade.” This parade lasted nearly nine hours, through the heart of New York City. There were approximately 250,000 people, including 15,000 Teamsters, 10,000 Longshoreman, and 6,000 union carpenters. Vast numbers of young people can be seen marching. The parade was reported locally in New York, but not nationally.

This enormous parade was not the only event in support of our troops in New York. On March 31, 1973, “Home With Honor Day” was celebrated at a parade with more than 150,000 people. There were 1,000 soldiers at the head of the parade. At the end of the parade route, the troops sat in grandstands and were thanked and celebrated by the marchers. To be sure that it could never be said that our troops came home with no brass bands to welcome them, 100 brass bands were in the parade.

Again, there was no national press coverage.

Yes, there were people who protested the war. It is true that many returning soldiers were treated abominably and disrespectfully at the airport when returning from Vietnam. Our returning soldiers returned home as individuals rather than in units and almost always passed through one of three airports: Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. Because individual soldiers could be harassed more easily than a group, and only three airports needed to be staffed by protesters, the despicable acts against our men in uniform were committed by a relatively small group of people who not only opposed the war but America and its values as well.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

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  1. I am a Vietnam Vet and I still hate the people in California and will never visit the state again. I was coming home after a year in Vietnam and was laughed at, cussed and called names by the respectful people of California. I cried every night for years and during the day when no one was around. I had join the Army for 4 years as I had 7 Uncles and a father that served in WW II. I thought I was serving my country until I came home to the disrespect and the hatred I received from the people in the great state of California. The airport was full of people but none, not one came to my defense, even it has been 43 years I still can cry when I think about it. I was happy to get back down South and to Alabama where you were treated with respect. My best friend Jimmy Norsworthy was killed in Vietnam and my Uncle Wayne Chance died because of his service in Vietnam. Were they the lucky ones to not see this country as it has become? I have no respect for the people of California and you will ever see my ass in your state again. You showed me and the other your true feelings about this country, I will stay down South where there are still people who love this country and will fight to defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic. We are too stupid to defend the border and are letting enemies come here with immunity. Our day of horror gets closer every day we forgot 911 but this one will be so much worse that if we survive as a country we must wake up and turn our country around. It is better to live and die as a bulldog than to live forever as a jellyfish just floating with the current not seeing or knowing what's going on in the world because you live in your little world and don't care about anyone except yourself. Wake up and save this country before it's too late. Sgt. Bobby C. Chance

    • love4allcrittersmarilyn5555 says:

      When I see the way soldiers are treated now when they're seen in public in their uniforms…it kinda' makes me proud. But I also often think about those days when men came home from Viet Nam and met at the airport by people cursing and spitting on them. WHY? I kinda' think they were taking their feelings out on the wrong people. They were disgusted with the war. And it was the first war that was really played out on tv up-close-and-personal right in their faces. Too many times war is romanticized. People don't have a true idea of the fears, horrors, atrocities, cruelty (intended or not)….and now….they were horrified. I was just in my last years of high school and was ignorant and naive about what was going on and was more or less oblivious to what was happening. It wasn't until years later when I started having friends who'd been vets from the Viet Nam war that I really understood some of what had happened. I wish there was some way to go back, or something that could be done now to repair the wounds to these men inflicted by our own citizens. Even though it's SO many years later….I'm glad you're back Sgt Chance, and saddened by the treatment you and so many received. It wasn't right.

    • RacerJim says:

      Sgt. Bobby C. Chance,


      My most sincere condolences re your loss of your best friend Jimmy Norsworthy and your uncle Wayne Chance.

      Although the vast majority of returning Vietnam Veterans passed through airports in Seattle, San Francisco, or Los Angeles and were laughed at, cussed at, called all manner of vile names, had cups of urine and excrement tossed on them and crutches kicked out from underneath them in the process, many of us from the East Coast were not allowed to get off airplanes at those airports but, rather, were kept on board while the airplanes were refueled and restocked then flown to airports on the East Coast — in my case to McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. Obviously anti-war protesters were not allowed on McGuire Air Force Base so I didn't get to experience all the crap you et al who passed through civilian airports did. However, I will never FORGET or FORGIVE and will FOREVER DESPISE the anti-war movement for depriving me and my WWII & Korean Conflict father of what would have been one of the, if not THE, most memorable moments we could ever share…the very first time my father saw me in uniform. As our plane was pulling up to the gate I saw my father amongst the crowd on the tarmac…standing proud as proud can be in his Class A uniform, brushing it dustless, tugging his jacket taut…anxious to see me in uniform for the very first time…and I began to tear-up. Why? Because, thanks to the anti-war assholes, during our debarkation briefing at Da Nang Air Base we were ordered to wear civies for our flight home and until we arrived at our permanent home residence. Yes, of course, my father and I were overjoyed to see each other…shook hands firmly….embraced…slapped each other's back….but there was something missing…a deep-down ache we saw in each other's eyes. BASTARD "Me, Myself and I" anti-war protesters!

      "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed down for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." – PRESIDENT Ronald Reagan




      LCPL – E3 – Marine Corps – Regular

      Length of service 1 years
      His tour began on Apr 25, 1968
      Casualty was on Jul 21, 1968
      Body was recovered

      Panel 51W – Line 27

      Marine Lance Corporal Jimmy Norsworthy

      SP5 James P. Carter, RAxxxxxxxx
      32nd Army Air Defense Command
      Vietnam Veteran

      P.S.: I live only 15-miles from the "The Wall". It would be my HONOR to go there, do a pencil rubbing/tracing of your best friend LCPL Jimmy Norsworth's engraving on "The Wall", perhaps also take a photo, and mail same to you. I won't post my personal contact info on here but If you click "REPORT" and ask the blog administrator to read this "P.S." hopefully they will then email you my email address and we can take things from there.

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