Homecoming celebration held for Vietnam vets

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– A homecoming celebration was held for veterans in Wallingford Sunday. It was all part of the 4th “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day” in Connecticut.

It took several decades but Vietnam veterans are finally getting the recognition they deserve.

“We join as one and have a nice day together. It’s a very therapeutic day,” said Ted Aub, Event Chairman.

This ceremonial celebration honors those who served in Vietnam, by giving them a long overdue homecoming.

“The majority of them agree that what the welcome home Vietnam veterans committee is trying to do is warranted and they appreciate it,” said Michael Del Monaco, veteran.

Michael Del Monaco served in the army and spent two years in Vietnam. He’s been part of the welcome home celebration since it started four years ago.

“For the first time that I came back from Vietnam and people were coming up to me and saying welcome home. We never received that when we returned home from Vietnam,” said Del Monaco.

This entire event was spearheaded back in 2010 after then governor Jodi Rell officially made March 30 Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day here in Connecticut.

But it’s also open to those who’ve served our country proudly in other wars and conflicts.

“I joined this committee three years ago and the reason why is because when I came home Vietnam vets always made sure I felt welcomed home,” said Michael Ruger, veteran.

Sunday’s celebration included a car show, vendors, entertainment and moments of appreciation for our men and women in uniform. There was also a map, which attracted a great deal of attention.

vietnam map

“Basically we invite all of the Vietnam vets to come to the map, sign on the map, what unit they were with, when they were there, identify what locations and all that so they can go to the map, see who else comes to these events and where they were and share common ground and common stories,” said Ruger.

In honor of Sunday’s event and veterans throughout the state, welcome home.

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