Tim in the News

WLNS: Vietnam War vets get a “thank you” at Jackson County Fair

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Washington, August 11, 2016 | comments

JACKSON, MI (WLNS) – It’s been decades since the end of the Vietnam War, but today, people gathered at the Jackson County Fair to pay tribute to those who served then.

Today was a day of gratitude for Jackson-area Vietnam War vets. For many, including 67-year-old Bob Wilkinson who served in the Navy, it took him back to a much different time.

“Going there . . . is you know, you get off an airplane and all of a sudden you’re in a warzone and you’re 18 years old. It’s pretty difficult when before that you were driving up and down the avenue looking for girls and the next thing you’re getting shot at. So it makes it a little…you grow up fast,” said Wilkinson.

Fast forward to today and the relief of today’s commemoration ceremony brought emotions to the vets.

Wilkinson said, “finally after 50 years we get a thank you and we never heard thank you before. It was just you know, being spit on and called baby killers and the emotions…if you looked around there were people crying and then people laughing and then people smiling and we all go through that realm.”

One thing they can agree on is the event brought them closer.

Veteran John Gibbs said, “there was a bond made between veterans and I think you’ll see that around here today and we see that here right now.”

These men and women may have received a pin for their services, but one lawmaker knows that veterans in general need more.

Republican 7th District Congressman Tim Walberg said, “they get their benefits, and when they go to the VA hospital they get cared for. Many of the VA hospitals like the one closest to my district in Ann Arbor do great work for people. But, there’s challenges that we have to face and deal with.”

But, these former soliders were able to enjoy today.

This story originally appeared on August 11 on WLNS.com.
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