Welcome Home

A Rolling Thunder supporter visits a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, erected at Charlotte Motor Speedway March 31, 2012, at the USO of North Carolina's Vietnam Veteran Homecoming Celebration. Photo by Jonathan E Coleman

“Welcome Home”

It’s a simple but comforting sentiment most Vietnam War veterans never heard when they returned from combat—until now.

On March 31, 2012, the USO of North Carolina, along with Charlotte Motor Speedway and the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, hosted the Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration.

“The USO of North Carolina’s Vietnam Veteran Homecoming Celebration at Charlotte Motor Speedway brought 62,500 people around the nation with one goal—celebrate the service and sacrifices of a generation our nation forgot to honor nearly 40 years ago,” said John Falkenbury, President of USO of North Carolina.

While celebration was the tone of the day, assistance and education were also common themes at the raceway.

National, regional and local Veterans Affairs assets, as well as over 100 military and veteran nonprofits provided health assessments, processed claims and educated veterans on organizations who were willing to help all veterans.

The entertainment line-up included The Charlie Daniels Band, George Clinton, Rockie Lynn, the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band, and the 82nd Airborne Division “All-American” Chorus.

Because many veterans have not had the chance to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C., an exact two-dimensional replica of the Wall was erected in the infield to honor each of the 58,195 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice during the war.

“We’re proud that we were able to leverage the USO brand and reputation, along with the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, to accomplish one of the nation’s largest gatherings to honor the Vietnam warriors and their families,” said Falkenbury.

“Why now? Why not now?” he added. “It’s never too late to honor the men and women of our country.” — By Joseph Andrew Lee, USO Staff Writer

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

3 thoughts on “Welcome Home

  1. I had the pleasure of attending this wonderful event. This has been a long time in coming. Amazing performance by Rockie Lynne, a true veteran and an outstanding performer.

    Each veteran that I came across had many faces; sadness, anger, and joy as well as many more.

    Thank you to all the Vietnam Veterans for your service and it was honor to shake your hand and give you a hug for all that you have done to make our country free.

    Thank you to all who serve, served and paid the ultimate sacrifice your service will not go unnoticed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s