DECATUR, Ga (CBS46) - For many Vietnam War veterans the welcome home after the being deployed was difficult. Opposition to the war resulted in many of the veterans feeling unwelcomed when they returned but efforts are underway to make things right.
“It’s been 48 years actually 42 since I left there and this is the first recognition I have ever gotten,” said former Marine Teddie Rozier.
Rozier says there was no fanfare or welcome home service when he returned from his Vietnam deployment.
“It seems like they let me down. I went and did what they told me to do and ask me to do without complaint. And, I got treated dirty when I got back,” Rozier added.
And when he says dirty he means it. He described how the community took out their anger with the war on veterans like him.
“When I got back I got spit on. I can’t prove it but I know I lost a few chances on jobs because I did go,” said Rozier.
But a partnership with the Georgia Department of Veterans Service and the VA is hoping to change that.
“We didn’t do a great job of honoring them when they returned from war. We want to make it right and welcome them home and thank them for their service to our country," said Anthony Cooper.
The group will host a certificate and lapel pinning ceremony on March 31, which is open to all Vietnam era veterans.
“I had the opportunity to go to war as well, I returned from Afghanistan as a hero and I can only imagine if I served my country and was not granted back in this country as a hero, I can only imagine how it would have felt,” added Cooper.
And veterans including Rozier say the honor is better late than never.
“War is a war, no matter where you go, even though they called it a police action. I never gave out one ticket and I don’t like thinking about the place and those that came back but in a way they're still over there with their memories and their nightmares, they’re the ones that should be recognized we all deserve it, recognition,” added Rozier.
To sign up contact the VA Volunteer Service Office the deadline to sign up is March 17.