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Oxford resident and Vietnam veteran Ray Graham receives a recognition lapel pin from Post 108 Chaplin Hugh Syron. Next in line is another Vietnam veteran and Oxford resident Joe Nagel. Photo by D. Rush

Local Vietnam vets recognized

By Don Rush
About 20 local veterans of the Vietnam War gathered for food, beverage and camaraderie on March 29 — a national holiday also known as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The day of rememberance was at the American Legion Walter Fraser Post #108 on E. Drahner Road.
Signed into law by then U.S. President Donald Trump, the National Vietnam War Veterans Day “commemorates the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans and their families and is part of a national effort to recognize the men and women who were denied a proper welcome upon returning home more than 40 years ago.”
“Unlike veterans of past wars, Vietnam veterans returned home not to parades, but to disdain and anger.,” said Fred Censullor, the post’s Senior Vice Commander. “Without help, many just had to try and adjust back to civilian life.”
After a presentation by Censullo, Post Commander Dave Perry and Post Chaplin Hugh Syron, veterans in attendence were given the opportunity to share their memories and thoughts.
An emotional Syron said, “Remember them (those who served and those who died in service). Keep them and their families in your prayers.”
The holiday recognizes the nine million Americans who served in the forces during the Vietnam War (from 1955 to 1975); of those, 2.7 million U.S. service members served in Vietnam; the 58,000 service members whose names are memorialized on a black granite wall in our Nation’s capital; the 304,000 who were woundedl; the 1,253 Missing in Action (MIA) heroes who have not yet returned to American soil; and the 2,500 Prisoners of (the Vietnam) War.

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