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Rapid City Vietnam War veterans honored by Congress

Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 7:12 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - There are nearly 70,000 veterans in South Dakota and many of them served in the Vietnam War. On Wednesday, thirteen Vietnam War veterans in Rapid City were presented with a commemorative pin by Representative Dusty Johnson.

Johnson introduced each one of them by reading their military service record from Vietnam.

Many veterans said they were glad to receive the pin, and one of them said, he wished things were different when they had first returned from Vietnam, as he didn’t feel there was much recognition for their service back then.

”It was never, to me, a thing of bravery, it was to serve the cause of our country, and try to make sure people could be free,” Stanley Self Sr., a Rapid City Vietnam War veteran, said.

Rep. Johnson said too many of the Vietnam-era veterans were not received properly in the past, so now, he travels from to city to city in South Dakota to give thanks to Vietnam War veterans in person.

”So today I heard the stories from these veterans about when they came home in the 60s and 70s and how divided our country was, and that meant they did not get the ‘welcome home’ they deserved. We’re trying to make up for that wrong today,” Rep. Johnson said of the event Wednesday.

“It’s interesting our country in many ways has again become hotly divided; this is an opportunity for us to remind one and another, not just these veterans, not just members of congress, but all of our communities, that we are one America.” Johnson said.

By thanking the service members, Representative Johnson said he hopes people can be more united.

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