Today on National Vietnam War Veterans Day, we honor the men and women who served and sacrificed during the longest conflict in the United States history.
It was on March 29, 1973, the last US troops left Vietnam, ending American involvement in the Vietnam War.
Locally, there were 28 U.S. servicemen and women from Lamar, Delta, Choctaw, Red River and Fannin County who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice in the Vietnam War and are honored at The Red River Valley Veterans Memorial in Paris.
Lamar County Vietnam Veteran, Johnny Williams, who served from 1966 – 1972, is grateful to have a day dedicated to those who served in Vietnam.
“Those of us that were lucky enough to come back didn’t have any welcome home parades and were in a war that many didn’t like. To finally have a day that’s dedicated to us, those that are alive and everyone that is on that wall, appreciate it,” said Williams.
One of those 28 names on the wall, Arnold Rex Bray was a high school classmate of Williams.
“Rex, as we called him, was the very first African American to attend Paris High School,” said Williams. “After he graduated he went to college and was drafted not long after.”
Bray was killed in action in Vietnam in October 1969.
National Vietnam War Veterans Day acknowledges those who served in Vietnam and the 58,000 who were killed during the war.
“I’m proud to have served my country,” said Williams
Thank you to all the men and women who served in the Vietnam War.