The breakfast bought for him at a Florida restaurant during his vacation on Tuesday is closer to the treatment you would expect a military veteran would receive compared to what Kewaunee County resident Chuck Wagner experienced more than 50 years ago.
After serving in the Vietnam War for one year, Wagner remembers a person hustling him for money in the airport before his flight and being called a “baby killer” on the plane itself as he tried to sit down. The local VFW at the time would not allow “his kind,” and it was not until he joined Vietnam Veterans’ organizations ahead of the Gulf War that he felt his service to his country was truly appreciated. Wagner knows there are Vietnam War veterans that are still embarrassed about their service because of how they were treated when they returned. He hopes their experiences will help future veterans get the respect they deserve.
March 29th is recognized as National Vietnam War Veterans Day to commemorate the day the final American combat forces left the country after nearly 20 years of fighting. More than six million Americans who served during the Vietnam era are still alive today.