Marlborough held a ceremony and a luncheon recently at the town park to say thank you to Veterans of the Vietnam War, decades after hostilities ceased.
Deacon Vincent Porcelli offered an invocation.
American Legion Commander Tom Schroeder thanked the committee who planned the afternoon honoring these Veterans.
“In 1973 the west pulled out of Vietnam, and add 50 years and you get 2023; so it’s been 50 years and well overdue, Welcome Home,” Schroeder said. “Our Vietnam Veterans were not treated very well when they came home and they deserve the appreciation that we’re giving them today.”
Joe Freeborn served in Vietnam as a combat infantry soldier in the 196 Light Infantry Brigade from 1971-72.
“It was a hard eight and a half months of my life but I made it through, thank God,” he said. “I’m here today to celebrate this great day with all you Veterans. Though 50 years has gone by, it is never too late to say ‘thank you’ for our service and all of our sacrifice during that tumultuous time in our history. Whether or not we were treated well is irrelevant, what matters now is that all Veterans today are very much respected.”
Dr. Anthony Pascale thanked all of the Veterans for their service, noting that many local people and businesses donated to the event with food from Kirky’s Deli, Frank’s Deli, Dave Dubois and Thomas O. Miller to name a few.
Pascale personally knew both Capt. Robert Bull and Lance CPL William Partington, who were killed in Vietnam.
“I hope you would take a moment to honor their memories. Have a good day and socialize with everybody; that’s what it’s all about,” Pascale concluded.
Commander Schroeder retired the colors, thanking the Marines for coming up from Newburgh.
“Everybody find somebody to talk to and catch up; and again, Welcome Home,” he said.
The Fred Zepplin band provided the musical soundtrack for the afternoon, with many tunes from the Vietnam era.