These photos were taken in May 2012, right before Memorial Day. Fort Hood, Texas decided it was long overdue for a welcome home ceremony honoring the Vietnam Veterans. They included the Vietnam Vets in Phantom Warrior Week – a week of competitions between the Fort Hood units. The Veterans had an opportunity to spend time with the units that they served with during their military service. Almost 700 Veterans participated in the weeks activities. Several Medal of Honor Recipients were also there.
At the start of the week, the Vietnam Veterans were honored in a similar manner that today’s 1st Cavalry Division and other Fort Hood Soldiers are so familiar with. The white buses seen in this video clip are known around here as the “deployment buses.” When you see these, you know someone is either coming home from or is headed to an overseas deployment – either way, you know someone will be shedding tears today.
I missed the opening “Welcome Home” but this is the clip from the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office. The Vietnam Veterans are bused in and lined up in formation just like a modern day “Welcome Home” ceremony except usually Vietnam era Credence Clearwater Revival isn't played and a Huey helicopter isn't flying through the air! (30 second mark for that helicopter!). If you have a minute, the speeches given are very touching and this video is worth a watch.
At the end of the week, they held a “pass and review” – a pass and review is a time honored military tradition to allow the commanders to “review” their troops as they “pass” by in formation. The Veterans even after all these years, were still sharp in their marching steps and perfectly on line as they marched by. These are more of my photos – I felt honored to be able to finally welcome them home.
Thank you to all of those who served during the Vietnam War.