Special tribute to Vietnam War Veterans – 40th Anniversary of the end of the War

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vietnam vetsWe’re paying special tribute to our Vietnam War Veterans — 40th Anniversary of the end of the War.

Please attend and meet legendary Combat Pilot and ex-POW of the Vietnam War, Colonel Ken Hughey (USAF – Ret), who is our keynote speaker and will hold a book signing about his memoirs “Outlaw Lead.”

Ken enlisted in the Air Force at age 17 and retired as a Colonel. His air combat experience includes 564 Combat Sorties in Southeast Asia.

While leading a flight of F-4 Phantoms over North Viet Nam, Ken was shot down by Anti-aircraft Artillery and was taken prisoner. As a POW he spent 14 months in a one-man cell: of which five months was in complete isolation. His wife did not know he was alive until after 3 1/2 years of his captivity. She had to wait in the silent hope that he survived being shot down, then wait another 2 1/2 years for his release.  Ken’s military decorations include: Two Silver Stars; Legion of Merit; Three Distinguished Flying Crosses; Two Bronze Stars; Thirty Air Medals; and Four Purple Hearts.  This is a story in itself.

Don’t miss this festive occasion for fellow Veterans to gather and enjoy picnic-style refreshments, music and camaraderie.

See attached flyer plus Brentwood News link and editorial below.

Veterans Summer Celebration & Picnic to be held Aug. 1 at VA “grand lawn” Brentwood News / Westside Today

“All the Excitement in Brentwood”

Brentwood Beat — Editorial by Jeff Hall

On Aug. 1, local veteran activists are hosting a gathering called The Fifth Annual Veterans Summer Celebration & Picnic in order to honor all veterans – but especially those who served in Vietnam. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the end of that conflict.

Many of those who served in Vietnam endured a lot of excitement they wish they hadn’t. One of the speakers on Aug. 1 will be 83-year-old retired Colonel Ken Hughey (Air Force) who was a POW.

It does seem like Vietnam veterans got a pretty raw deal upon their return. Post 9/11, those who served in Iraq or Afghanistan have returned to something of a hero’s welcome.  And certainly that was the case after WWII.

But Vietnam was a particularly divisive and unpopular war. It seemed like society practically blamed the soldiers themselves for participating. But that wasn’t fair – many of the soldiers who served were drafted against their will.

And many who fought thought they were doing the right thing by joining. If our leaders said we had to go fight, many heeded the call.

Should they have been blamed for this?

Whether you agreed with that war or not, we can all agree most of the folks who served in Vietnam received the short end of the stick upon their return. Many got pretty messed up and many are still homeless after all these years.

In a small way we can recognize these folks by attending Aug. 1. In addition to Vietnam veterans, there will be veterans from WWII, Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan.



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