COLUMBUS, Ga. – Friday was a day to honor veterans all across the country and here at home. The Chattahoochee Valley Veterans Organization hosted a banquet Friday night honoring veterans of all wars.
This year, the Chattahoochee Valley Veterans Organization is placing extra emphasis on Vietnam veterans. It marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam war.
Retired Chief Superior Court Judge John Allen was a fighter pilot in Vietnam. He says the attitude towards veterans has changed quite a bit over the years.
“World War II veterans were received as heroes. Korean veterans were kind of benign and neglected and the Vietnam veterans were treated as pariahs after the war,” he said.
Allen says war is an experience he hopes no one else has to experience.
“I flew to North Vietnam for two years so, it was not a pleasant experience at all,” he said.
Lt. Col. Patricia Krause served as a medic during the Vietnam War era.
“I took care of a lot of the soldiers that came back from Vietnam War, were serving in the Vietnam War,” she said.
Krause says she feels a greater respect and appreciation today than she felt in the past.
“It is more of a ministry service type of thing. It’s not about the money. It’s about what we can do for ourselves and for our country and for our fellow Americans,” she said.
Allen describes coping after the Vietnam War.
“For a long time I think like most veterans we went off and got involved in our lives otherwise and kind of very seldom talked about the Vietnam experience because it wasn’t very well received quite frankly,” he said.
He says it’s only in later years that the true story of Vietnam veterans has been told.