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Thank veterans on their special day

Profile image for Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial
Denton Record-Chronicle Editorial

The recent PBS documentary on the Vietnam War provided a powerful reminder that combat veterans never really leave the battlefield behind. A part of them remains there throughout their lives.

As we approach Veterans Day on Saturday, Nov. 11, think about what it must have been like to be a veteran returning from a war that so many Americans opposed.

Today, it's common for strangers to walk up to a veteran or an active-duty member of the military to thank him or her for their service to the nation.

We see it every day.

Back in the 1960s and '70s, most Vietnam veterans were met with uncomfortable silence upon their return to civilian life.

In turn, many of them remained silent about their service, fearing that any conversation might veer into a debate about America's involvement in the war.

No one knows for sure how many Vietnam-era veterans are still living. Some estimates put the number at 800,000. They are in their 60s or 70s and far removed from the day when they came home to a divided nation.

But it's not too late to thank them for their service. We suggest that those belated thank-yous might be the perfect way to honor veterans on Nov. 11.