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Letter: We are forever indebted to our military veterans

We are forever indebted to our military veterans

On Veterans Day, most veterans look back to their military days and the many memories they have. The World War II vets are few in number, compared with all those who served. Most surviving vets today are 90 and older. They will never be forgotten and will always be known as the Greatest Generation. All these veterans, with their service and sacrifice, were the difference in World War II and forever changed the course of history for the United States and all of its Allies.

The other veterans who also deserve some long-overdue recognition are all Vietnam veterans who proudly served in a very unpopular war. Myself and all my friends from Seneca Street in South Buffalo either joined or were drafted and proudly served our country. Most of us ended up in Southeast Asia in “Nam,” as it was referred to back then. By the grace of God we all returned home, but many were wounded physically and many more returned emotionally scarred. They suffered from PTSD and at a time when there was no diagnosis and no treatment available.

The disgraceful treatment and total abandonment of Vietnam vets was a real failure by our government. Many were shunned and their treatment by the VA is well documented as the worst ever to any group of returning veterans from any previous war. The only redeeming outcome from this travesty is the way returning vets are welcomed today as real heroes to be looked up to. They are also treated and compensated for any lasting physical or emotional problems related to their military service.

I would like to wish all those who have served in the U.S. military a welcome home and a job well done. Enjoy your special day. You earned the title U.S. military veteran.

Phil Ryan

Marine Corps Vietnam Vet

West Seneca

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