Vietnamese Veterans Share Stories for Vietnam Veterans Day
Dave Rocco says the United States recognizes Vietnam War veterans a lot better now than it did then.
Vietnamese War Commemoration website says the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act was passed in 2017 making March 29 National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
According to the website, "March 29 is an appropriate selection for a day honoring Vietnam veterans.". "We chose March 29 because the date was the dissolution of the United States Military Assistance Command of Vietnam and also the final departure of U.S. combat troops from Vietnam."
Rocco, first vice president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #154 and chairman of the scholarship committee, said that veterans were not well received when they returned home after being away from home during the conflict. That has changed now.
If you wear a hat saying you're a Vietnam vet, people come up to you and thank you for your service.
The VVA Chapter #154 is located in Clinton Township, within the Veterans Support Center at 18025 15 Mile Road. I've been a member there for years. Around 700 people are there.
'We go to schools and senior centers - wherever our clients ask for us," he said. The organization is aiming to regain its footing in the neighborhood.
The VA claims center helps with VA claims and filing them. Furthermore, the organization runs the Macomb County Veterans Food Pantry as well as an honor guard and a speaker's bureau.
This group makes sure no vet is treated like Vietnam War vets were.
In 1965-1967, he served in the military in the United States Army and served in Vietnam for a period of one year. In the Korean War, he gunned for the 25th Division with a 105 mm howitzer.
Also, he was part of a survey crew and briefly served as a battalion clerk typist. 76-year-old matriculated from South Lake High School in St. Clair Shores in 1963, then drafted. At Fort Carson in Colorado, Rocco trained on a howitzer before he arrived in Saigon, Vietnam, in September 1966.
At the time that I went in, the war was still relatively new. I was aware that it was a combat zone and did not wish to enter it.". Every time we did a maneuver, we had to clean and shine everything. Upon landing in Vietnam, it was a foggy day, and I noticed all of these destroyed helicopters and vehicles on the runway. I was really there.”
The headquarters of Rocco in Vietnam were located in Cu Chi, a city well known for its tunnels.
I heard the Viet Cong had a big underground tunnel system. The North Vietnamese had hospitals in South Vietnam, a food supply, and would bring food all the way from North Vietnam.
It wasn't until after coming back home in September 1967 that he discovered tunnels under the 25th Division's base camp.
As a result of an unfortunate incident, Rocco remembered the account of an American soldier who killed some of his fellow soldiers.
"He set a booby trap on one of our campgrounds and killed two or three of our guys for some godless reason," he said. He set up a grenade at the door and when the runner came to wake up the soldiers, he, along with the first two people in the bunks, was killed."
In his opinion, young people need to know that America tried to stop communism from spreading in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
Roger served as the lawn and garden department manager of Sears at Macomb Mall for 35 years, retiring in 2000. She and he have been married 53 years. Together they have one son and two grandchildren.
In 1967 and 1968, Macomb Township's Art David served in Vietnam. He remained at Phouc Vinh Base Camp for about six months, before moving north, setting up a radio network with the 101st Airborne Division to support the Marines.
David a 75-year-old former Marine who says he wouldn't want to fight in Vietnam.
Despite the fact that these armed communist guerillas are experienced and, thank God, they are not the best shooters in the world, there were enough of them that it did not require much gunfire to damage them, he said of the Viet Cong.
As for morale among the American troops, David said they were always there for one another.
No matter who you were, you always had his back, and he had yours, he said. "We had a good camaraderie, honor, and respect for one another.". It was an incredible group of men whom we remain in touch with to this day.
I think David said he was fighting for his country first and foremost.
“It was my duty to fight for all American citizens, to provide them with safety, protection and the freedom they deserved, he explained. «I fought for every soldier who was overseas.”
The VFW Bruce Post 1146 in St. Clair Shores will host a traveling tribute March 29 from 3-8pm. There are more than 2,600 names on the memorial of Michigan residents who sacrificed their lives during the war.