SVSU students honor Vietnam veterans - WNEM TV 5

SVSU students honor Vietnam veterans

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

The Vietnam War took the lives of tens of thousands of Americans.

For many who lived through it, it was a nightmare on Earth.

"You get the feeling that what you were doing over there wasn't worth while," said Bob Ames, Vietnam veteran.

Ames served in the Army during the war. He said it is still tough for him to talk about 50 years later.

"I made it for the TET offensive - their big birthday party over there. And two weeks later I was back home," Ames said.

Coming back home as a soldier from Vietnam in the 60s and 70s was not easy.

"A lot of soldiers were called baby killers. Even my own sister when I came home in uniform, 'Do you have to wear that?' I mean, they didn't realize the impact they had. And that was from family, let alone bystanders," Ames said.

William Schaard served two terms in Vietnam. He said it took him 15 years before he was able to talk to anyone about what he experienced there.

"Anyone that spoke against it, I would want to fight and protect the other service men. But I tried to avoid it," Schaard said.

Schaard and Ames, along with 48 other Vietnam veterans, got the recognition they deserved Friday night thanks to four college students whose only knowledge of the war comes from history books.

The Saginaw Valley State University students organized a special dinner to show their appreciation for these men.

"We chose Vietnam veterans because we feel they didn't get what they deserved then so they should get what they deserve now," said Lauren Miller, student organizer.

The event was in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. That's a 13 year period proclaimed by former President Barack Obama to reflect the years America was at war. The commemorative period ends in 2025.

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