My name is Ron Nelson. I served time in the Marine Corps from 1973-74. I’ve been a photographer for 37 years and belong to the American Legion and just recently the VVA Chapter in Watertown, SD.
The photograph was put together after attending the South Dakota Vietnam War Memorial Dedication in 2006. I came home with many images of the event. Not a single image really told the story of what happened those three days in Pierre, SD. When I got home on monday, I sat down and looked at the images I had taken. My inspiration was to create something that all Veterans of this era could remember from that weekend of healing. The image was published in many newspapers around South Dakota after I had finished it. The calls and letters from Veterans and family members wanting to have a copy of the print was overwhelming.
I decided to donate a large print to every VA hospital and VA outreach clinic in South Dakota to honor the Vietnam Veterans as my “thank you" for serving and a long overdue "Welcome Home."
The collage is just my “thank you” for all of you who proudly served your country when you were called!
Sincerely, Ron Nelson – USMC '73-'74