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Not a Great Welcome Home Feeling in 1967

I was honorably discharged in August 1967- enlisted from Florida- went to New York ( and reaped larger separation pay ) – stayed in Virginia for a few weeks- and applied for a job in area- went back to New York and a life of uncertainty- torn between family and friends left behind in Virginia. Found a job in a bank back office in Manhattan- hostile work environment as they pounced on me after they found out I was a United States Marine- had arguments and one clown reported me to senior management for being disrespectful. A white haired 60 something executive in an office as big as a lobby in some buildings- started to have me sit down and was nice to me- I saw a picture of an airplane with a young guy on a wing- it seems he was a World War fighter pilot ( Navy ) and after he heard my story- he gave me a business card with his home phone written on the back and told me to call anytime – and he promised to speak to my immediate superiors at my work area. A lot of hostility towards all military on returning stateside after Vietnam era. Mostly college kids and sorry to say malcontents too! Would not trade experience of the 4 years in the Corps if I had to do it over again. I still got the sometimes attitude that gets me into arguments today- different international atmosphere- different type of enemy- different life style- but still willing to interced.
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GREGORY PAWLIK 1969-1972 - April 10, 2020

These replies got me going. Returning back to Detroit in December 1970, I never ran into any harassment, wore my uniform all the time. Lived in a working class neighborhood with plenty of guys my age in the service and many of our fathers were veterans too. I was lucky that way. As for those clowns that spit on my fellow Marines, do you ever think that they are our age now and they are now saying “thank you for your service!”. What a crock! I hate these well wishers, and the young people that don’t (or didn’t) have the gonads to raise their right hand to contribute to the defense of this country, in any capacity. Many of these types want to jump out of planes, run obstacle course races, go mountain climbing, play “paint ball” war. Hell, Uncle Sam would have paid you to do all of this, supplied the quipment, and you could use live ammo instead of paint balls. Semper Fi

Jesse Griffin VSM CAR CIB - April 10, 2020

Civilian life in the spring of 1970 in Charleston, SC was so bad, I enlisted in the Army after four months out of the Corps. The Corps had left Vietnam by this time.

tom coughlin 63-67 - April 10, 2020

we served so others did not have to pay the price for freedom.We owed this do to the young men and women from WW II.How wil today youth pay it forward. It took almost 40 years to hear welcome home and I could not accept it.

Corporal Ron Ryan - April 10, 2020

I too returned to the states November 10, 1967 after my 13 months. Met the same treatment as mentioned. I never heard much about the situation in the states. I believe the corps kept it from us until the final day We were told to travel in civilian clothes, if possible. James lew’s statement that Vietnam gooks were better to us than the fine citizens of the U.S.A Corporal Ron Ryan F-2-11th Marines, First MArine Devision

Sgt. Mike Welsh….A Co. 1st Shore Party Bn. - April 10, 2020

Chu-Lai was mud trails when we arrived in65 and when we left they had paved roads. The air strip was cement and the wire in the swamp was laid by our own hands. Went home in Sept. 66 and did not enjoy the welcome home. I wore my uniform with pride and said the hell with the draft dodgers. Once a Marine , always a Marine. Semper Fi my brothers.

LewJames - April 10, 2020

I was an 0311 got discharged in 1976. The hostility we faced from the press, the colleges, the democrat party, and all the moronic narcissistic hippies was awful. Girls wouldn’t even talk to a guy with short hair. Everybody acted like anybody associated with the military was a criminal. This fight goes on even today. I may forgive those lefties, but I will NEVER forget what they did to our country. When I meet a young serviceman who thanks me for my service, it’s all I can do to keep from crying. I really hope our history from the 60s and 70s never is forgotten. What happened to us in America was far worse than anything that happened in VietNam.

V J Zigmont - April 10, 2020

It was the same for me, when I got out in January 1971! While looking for a job, that a man could live on and support a family, I sensed this feeling, that these companies could have cared less that you were a Veteran, yet alone a Nam Vet. After 3-4 weeks of fruitless searching, I went down to the Recruiter again and re-enlisted for six and was happy about my decision.

gsgt Tom Peragallo RT. - April 10, 2020

se-fi marine I went throught the same s— in NY but I make it and reloacted in Fl after 35 yrs. GOOD LUCK !!!!

Joe Houk - April 10, 2020

Served in the Marines 68-72 Vietnam 70-71 in HML-167; returned to the States in 71 stationed at Santa Anna for the longest time we were not allowed to wear our uniforms outside the base. Return to civilian life in Knoxville Tennessee had difficult time getting employment finally got a job at a supply store at $5.00 per hour. Was years before I could admit in public I was a Vietnam veteran. Good support system in my wife of 46 years now. As she said it was a long time before I would not sit with my back against a wall in a restaurant or not jump at loud popping noises. At that time if you went to the VA claiming PTSD you were a wimp. The VA was very hostile back then. Today I order Marine stuff when ever I believe I can afford it. Lean on your support group

robert myers - April 10, 2020

A sad, but consistent story. I, too, went back to my “homecoming” at college and was in 2 fights. I still wore my uniform proudly. “They still hate us!”

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