Senator Murphy Salutes Vietnam Veterans in Albany
Albany, NY - Veterans of the Vietnam War often received a chilly reception they first came home. The country was fighting an internal war over an unpopular conflict, with many people taking their anger at the war out on those who fought in it. Vietnam veterans cherished the bonds they had forged with their fellow servicemen, but once they had settled back into their everyday lives, most veterans chose to keep silent about their experiences overseas.
Time has helped heal the schism between Vietnam veterans and those who once criticized the war. Now Vietnam veterans are being recognized for their resolve and their exemplary service in what proved to be a gritty and costly conflict.
A vocal supporter of our veterans, Senator Terrence Murphy has been sponsoring Vietnam Veterans Day in Albany since 2015. This year, the full day of programs and activities for the veterans included a Senate session, a tour of the State Capitol and a bountiful free lunch. The program was co-sponsored by Senator Fred Akshar, Senator George Amedore, Senator Martin Golden, Senator William Larkin, Jr., and Senator Robert Ortt with support from the Hudson Valley Hero Project.
"It was a pleasure to host the Vietnam Veterans Day and to see the men's smiling faces as they shook hands, and traded stories about their experiences, their families, and their grandkids," said Senator Murphy. "These men were called upon to serve in an unpopular war, and they did so, both bravely and honorably. Any kindness we can show them will never be enough to repay them for their service."
"This is my third trip to Albany. I never thought anything like this would happen," said Yorktown Eugene Lang, Senior Vice Commander, Chapter 21 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. "When we came back from Vietnam, people spit on us. They didn't want anything to do with us. The first thing I did was hide my uniform in the closet. I even stopped seeing my friends and made new ones. It took a long time for us to be recognized. We all appreciate what Senator Murphy and his fellow Senator have done to help veterans in the past. It's a very emotional experience to stand on the Senate floor and be honored. I'm hoping we can all do it again next year."
William Nazario, a resident of Cortlandt and Senior Vice Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart said, "There are still individuals out there who have a sense of entitlement and don't know what it is to put on a uniform or carry a comrade into a helicopter after they've been wounded. It's good that attitudes toward the war have changed. It's great to be able to share the day with my fellow patriots and veterans. It's therapeutic to go on this trip. It's all part of the recovery process. The last thing I want to do is leave this earth a bitter man."
"My advice to anyone who comes in contact with a Vietnam veteran is to get to know them," said Senator Murphy. "They have a great deal of experience and wisdom to impart, not just about the war but about life itself. We should all try to remember to treat our Vietnam veterans with the respect they deserve. Without them, we would not have the freedom we hold so dear. To all our veterans, mission accomplished, and welcome home."