Senator Murphy says thank you and welcome home to Vietnam Vets

Sponsors Second Annual Vietnam Veterans' Day in Albany

ALBANY, NY - Emotions ran high Wednesday when Senator Terrence Murphy spoke on a resolution on the Senate floor honoring the many sacrifices made by Vietnam Veterans. The army of more than 50 veterans present to hear the Senator's moving pronouncement had come in camaraderie from all corners of New York State to take part in Senator Murphy's Second Annual Vietnam Veterans' Day in Albany.

In presenting the resolution Senator Murphy said, "The Vietnam War was a tumultuous time in America. When our brave service members returned home, often with physical and emotional scars, the voices of those who opposed the war sadly, overwhelmed those who supported our troops. Today, on Vietnam Veterans' Day, the State of New York will show our Vietnam veterans the respect and appreciation they deserve, but did not always get when they returned home."

"People got mixed up in the politics of war during the Vietnam era and forgot about the people who were actually serving, and that was unfortunate," said Senator Fred Akshar. "I know our Vietnam veterans carried a huge burden on their shoulders when they returned home. I am here today to say thank you for your service and for protecting our way of life. We can never fully pay back what we owe you, but we can give you the respect and recognition you deserve."<!--more-->

Senator Thomas Croci commented, "One of the luxuries of being in the military is you do not have to get involved in the politics of a decision. That is not your job. Your job is to go and fight where you are told to fight. Now that I am an elected official, I want to make sure we do not send our men and women to fight unless we absolutely have to. Regardless of the political circumstances surrounding any conflict, we have to thank the men and women who take up arms to defend our country. I am here today to say thank you to all of our Vietnam veterans for answering the call of duty and for doing an excellent job."

"I want to say thank you for all that you did for us," said Senator George Amedore. "You helped build this great nation with your blood, sweat and tears. You were not treated fairly when you returned, but you made sure that those who followed you would get the respect they deserved when they returned home. We are a better country because of you, and I am very happy that I can be here today to show my gratitude for the sacrifices you made for all of us."

Senator Rob Ortt said, "When I came home from Afghanistan there was a group of veterans at the airport to greet us. They applauded and gave us a standing ovation. That was very different from the reception our Vietnam veterans received. It is up to us to make sure that never happens again. This day pays tribute to those honorable men and women and reminds us to never forget their bravery, service and sacrifice made for our freedoms. On behalf of the generation of veterans that have recently returned, I want to say welcome home. We appreciate what you have done for this country and for all our veterans."

Yorktown resident Eugene Lang's eventful entry into America presaged the many battles that lay ahead of him. At the age of nine, Mr. Lang and his family fled Soviet-occupied Hungary, eventually settling in the Bronx. Drafted into the First Air Calvary, Private First Class Lang was part of a unit attached by Viet Cong forces In Laos in May 1968. Mr. Lang charged up a hill into the teeth of withering fire and was hit by shrapnel that remains in his leg to this day. Due to a clerical error, it took 44 years for Mr. Lang to receive the Purple Heart he deserved. "I was part of last year's event. It was an honor to go to Albany again and be recognized with my fellow Vietnam veterans," said Mr. Lang. "When we came home, people in our own country turned their backs on us. However, times have changed. It is rewarding to be honored for the blood I shed and for what we have done."