More than 500 Vietnam War veterans from Nebraska and western Iowa finally received their big welcome home Monday evening at Eppley Airfield.
Nearly 5,000 people were waiting for them and lined their pathway to welcome them home.
Patriotic Productions organizer Bill Williams says, “The citizens of Nebraska and Iowa that came to the airport, that was really the cherry on top of the sundae because it was just so heartwarming to see these people make an effort and fight the traffic to come there an honor these most deserving Vietnam War veterans. We are all very touched by it.”
The veterans were led by an Honor Guard and a drum and bagpipe corps.
People of all age groups lined both sides of the concourse and held signs and balloons and clapped and cheered as the veterans walked by. Hundreds of yellow roses were passed out to individuals in the crowd who presented them to the veterans.
Williams says, “I think it is encouraging for people to see young people standing there with the signs. There is a picture of a young fellow offering a salute as they walked by. People are concerned about the waning patriotism in the United States but it gives you a good feeling when you saw how people of all ages stepped up to honor these deserving Vietnam War guys.”
Williams also wanted to thank the donors from all over the state of Nebraska. He says more than 500 corporations and individuals stepped up to make this happen for these 502 veterans.