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Heroes Homecoming kicks off in Fayetteville

Posted November 4, 2011

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— Fayetteville is hosting a special 10-day homecoming for Vietnam veterans to show the community’s appreciation for their service.

Heroes Homecoming began Friday morning with a ceremony at the Airborne & Special Operations Museum in front of a standing-room only crowd.

"Heroes Homecoming will provide each of us an opportunity to put ourselves in the shoes of that young man (or) woman from Nebraska who got on a bus, rode halfway across this country and arrived at Fort Bragg on a hot July day," Mayor Tony Chavonne said. 

Chavonne said he hopes "that there will never be another American who doesn't appreciate the heroes of that era" or "forgets their sacrifice."

Air Force Brig. Gen. Norman Ham Jr. used the ceremony to thank his father, Vietnam pilot Norman Ham Sr.

"You are appreciated very much. I want to say thank you. Thanks, Dad. I love you," he said.

Vietnam veteran Cleon Gibbs attended the ceremony and said it was a "dream come true." 

"They are finally giving us something that we deserve," Gibbs said. 

Gibbs, of Raleigh, went to Vietnam in 1968. 

Harvey Stewart went to Vietnam in 1971 as a first sergeant. A year later, he returned, only to be spit on at a California airport. 

"I didn't mind serving my country. I left a wife and four children back here when I went to Vietnam, and then, to come home and get the sort of treatment after defending the U.S., it was demoralizing," Stewart said. 

Get a complete list of Heroes Homecoming events

Heroes Homecoming kicks off Heroes Homecoming kicks off

Friday's event was originally planned for the North Carolina Veterans Park, but rain forced it inside.

Heroes Homecoming will include 60 events downtown, including a parade on Nov. 12.

28 Comments

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  • Vietnam Vet Nov 8, 2011

    Thanks...about 4 decades too late!!! Better late than never I guess!

  • fayncmike Nov 4, 2011

    "It's just a shame that this is happening so late.My dad and many others have died as a result of the vietnam war.And the goverment would not own up to it until 3 years before he died! Thanks for all your service and sacarfise. Thanks to all vets. Semper Fi
    Big D 87"

    The government didn't own up to the war in Vietnam? I don't remember the government ever denying that there was a war in Vietnam. It would have been pretty hard to hide.

  • fayncmike Nov 4, 2011

    "You are absolutely right. Those in the Viet Nam war returned home to no kind of celebration. Seems like no one care about them. They never even received care packages,etc. like they do the armed forces of today.
    wildcat"

    I suggest you go read up on exactly how the returning soldiers were greeted.

  • gsnively Nov 4, 2011

    Thank God for these wonderful soldiers who fought in he ll and got a libe ral welcome home! My dad died with Agent Orange cancer. I just hope for the next 9 days, no one invites our president to speak! He could make this welcoming akin to what it was back in the 60's. God bless all of you men and women who served during this terrible time! We love you and thank you for all that you did!!

  • Big D 87 Nov 4, 2011

    It's just a shame that this is happening so late.My dad and many others have died as a result of the vietnam war.And the goverment would not own up to it until 3 years before he died! Thanks for all your service and sacarfise. Thanks to all vets. Semper Fi

  • u stand corrected Nov 4, 2011

    BTW means by the way...

    Have fun at the game tonight.

  • Ambygirl Nov 4, 2011

    by the way= BTW

  • wildcat Nov 4, 2011

    but I sure love them ALL.

    not my husband. I the wife and loves him. You cannot have him. Love else where. thanks. lol

  • wildcat Nov 4, 2011

    BTW
    what is BTW? curious

  • wildcat Nov 4, 2011

    Wildcat, you always get everyones attention;)
    government

    THAT'S MY GOAL. YOU HAVE A GREAT AND WONDERFUL WEEKEND. I GOING TO THE JM VS RANDLEMEN GAME TONIGHT.

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