Missourians Observe First Vietnam Veterans' Day

7 years 5 months 3 weeks ago Saturday, March 30 2013 Mar 30, 2013 Saturday, March 30, 2013 3:02:00 PM CDT March 30, 2013 in News
By: Garrett Bergquist
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Dozens of Vietnam War veterans and their families gathered across the state Saturday to observe Missouri's inaugural Vietnam Veterans' Day.

In Jefferson City, Gov. Jay Nixon honored four Missourians who served in the conflict, one each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Stephen T. Hill fought with the 23rd Infantry Division in Vietnam for seven months before he was wounded. U.S. Navy Capt. John Albright served for two years aboard the USS St. Louis. Air Force MSgt. Michael Puckett served around the world during the conflict as well as during the 1991 Gulf War. Marine Sgt. David Coleman served with the 3rd Marine Division and was wounded at Khe Sanh.

Hill told KOMU 8 News he was wounded by mortar fire and spent the rest of his service in Korea after that. He said he was treated very poorly when he came home, a problem he said happened all over the country. He said it was a great honor to have been included in the inaugural ceremony but it could not make up for the treatment he and his fellow veterans endured.

"I appreciate the ceremony, but it's 40 years too late," he said.

At Mark Twain Lake, veterans and their families gathered at a memorial next to the visitors' center. An honor guard fired a 21-gun salute and an American Legion bugler played Taps during a ceremony a little after 1 p.m. In attendance was Bob Burditt, who served as an Army legal investigator in Vietnam from 1971 to 1972. Burditt said his job involved looking into legal claims against the United States ranging from oil spills to the shooting of water buffalo.

When Burditt returned home, he said a crowd of hippies was waiting for his group at the airport and threw bottles filled with urine at him. The treatment he received from veterans' organizations was little better. He said veterans at some American Legion posts did not view the Vietnam veterans as equals due to the Vietnam War's official status as a police action. For that reason, Burditt said he paid his dues but did not participate for many years. Over time, he said the nation's treatment of Vietnam veterans has improved. He said the nation does a much better job of helping returning veterans out at an earlier stage today.

State law signed last summer designates every March 30th as Vietnam Veterans' Day. Saturday's ceremonies come a day after a national day of remembrance for the Vietnam War.

More News

Grid
List
MU adds casing to protect Thomas Jefferson tombstone A clear casing was added to Thomas Jefferson's tombstone at... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, September 21 2020 Sep 21, 2020 Monday, September 21, 2020 4:42:00 AM CDT September 21, 2020 in Top Stories
HOWARD COUNTY - After four elections running unopposed for the Howard County coroner's position, Frank Flaspohler faces new opposition this... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 11:07:00 PM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Heading into the 2020 season, the Battle Spartans had their share of concerns starting the season during the... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 8:23:00 PM CDT September 20, 2020 in Sports
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Health officials say a Chiefs fan who tested positive for COVID-19 one day after attending... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 4:44:24 PM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A clear casing was added to Thomas Jefferson's tombstone at MU Saturday night. The acrylic vitrine covering... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 4:25:00 PM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Previous coverage: ... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 3:11:00 PM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Downtown Columbia nightclub Nash Vegas had its operating permit suspended Friday night due to several health violations, according... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 3:06:00 PM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - The Missouri State Highway Patrol said divers found the body of 73-year-old Dennis Jaeger at... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 2:04:00 PM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Police are investigating a shooting incident that left four people injured. According to the Jefferson City... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 7:00:00 AM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A driver has been taken to hospital after a single vehicle crash on Saturday night. The... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, September 20 2020 Sep 20, 2020 Sunday, September 20, 2020 5:40:00 AM CDT September 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – While high school football has been happening so far this season in the wake of COVID-19, one part... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 6:47:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg left lifelong impressions on two Columbia students. The students, a high... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 6:47:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Monday night will likely be a long one for the Columbia City Council as it gets another... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 6:14:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a 19-year-old was fatally shot near the Missouri State University campus in Springfield. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 2:46:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Previous coverage: ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 2:14:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - No one was injured in an RV fire in southwest Columbia on Saturday. No injuries have been... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 12:48:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A fire at a Jefferson City home displaced two people early Saturday morning. According to a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 9:43:00 AM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump hailed Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a "brilliant mind" in a statement Friday... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 5:00:00 AM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 52°
7am 50°
8am 54°
9am 59°
10am 65°