Robert Hurt: Local Vietnam veterans receive long-overdue recognition

Robert_HurtDuring the last week, we had the tremendous honor of recognizing Vietnam veterans from all across Virginia’s Fifth District at ceremonies in South Hill, Danville, Bedford, Charlottesville, and Warrenton as part of the 50th anniversary of United States’ engagement in the Vietnam War.  We gathered to pay long overdue tribute to those brave men and women who served our nation valiantly during the Vietnam War.

Fifty years ago in peaceful places all across our congressional district, America’s young men and women took on the solemn responsibility of going to war to protect our freedom.  They left their small towns and their loving families to answer the call of duty.  They were asked to do things that no person should ever have to do, and they saw things no person should ever have to see. But they accepted the responsibility to preserve our freedom and our peace so others would not have to go into harm’s way.

And, unfortunately, upon returning home, our Vietnam veterans were not always welcomed in the manner they should have been – and that is a dark mark on our nation’s history.  Today, we as a nation have an opportunity to make this right, and it is our responsibility to do so.

At the five ceremonies we hosted across the district, I was once again reminded of unwavering commitment these heroes made to each other and their fellow man.  For all of them, their service to our nation, to future generations, and to each other has continued on long past the war.

Paul Galanti, who was held prisoner in the infamous Hanoi Hilton for nearly seven years, spoke in South Hill and Danville about the camaraderie between the branches of the military and the inseparable bond between all of those who have served.

Steve Bozeman, the keynote speaker at our ceremony in Bedford, has led a weekly “Support Our Troops” rally at Monument Terrace in Lynchburg every week for over 14 years to ensure that our troops know they have our support. Indeed, the day of our Bedford ceremony was the 730th consecutive rally.

Jim O’Kelley spoke in Charlottesville, noting that Vietnam veterans are the only generation who did not receive a warm welcome from a grateful nation upon coming home, and he talked about the “special sweetness” of freedom that those who have served know.

And in Warrenton, Randy West shared the stories of heroes and their service in Vietnam, reminding us all of the selflessness of those who serve.

These men exemplify service to their fellow man, and they represent but a few of the meaningful stories of our local heroes.  Each one of these men and women served our nation with valor, and I thank all of those veterans and the families who attended these ceremonies.  So let our gratitude for their service extend far beyond these ceremonies.

If you need any additional information or if we may be of assistance to you, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434) 395-0120.

Robert Hurt represents the Fifth District of Virginia in Congress.

Books from AFP

2018-19 UVA Basketball Preview: Just $1.99 on Amazon!

UVA Basketball finished the 2017-18 season ranked at the top of the national polls. Augusta Free Press editor Chris Graham offers his insight and analysis on the 2018-19 'Hoos, breaking down the roster, the legacy of coach Tony Bennett, and how the loss to UMBC could fuel a run through March Madness next spring.

The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever: Just $3.49 on Amazon!

Chris Graham offers a glimpse behind the curtain of the pro wrestling business in his new book, The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, the inside story of the 2011 Night of Legends, a live pay-per-view event featuring stars including WWE Hall of Famers Kevin Nash, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and The Rock 'n Roll Express that was met with almost universally negative reviews.

Mad About U: History of University Hall available on Amazon for just $5.99!

Mad About U: Four Decades of at University Hall is a comprehensive book covering the players, coaches and memories of University Hall at the University of Virginia. Join us as we look back at the memories from more than 40 years in U Hall.


News From Around the Web


Shop Google



Comment