Jim Webb: Soldiers without a Country

Sen. Webb tells the story of the burial of 81 ARVN paratroopers in California:

On Friday, a U.S. Air Force aircraft will carry the commingled remains of 81 airborne soldiers of the former South Vietnamese Army from Hawaii, where they have been stored in a military facility for more than 33 years, to California. On Oct. 26, there will be a full military ceremony honoring their service in Westminster, often known as Little Saigon, where tens of thousands of Vietnamese Americans now live. 

This will be a unique occurrence because their names might never be known and because they were soldiers of an allied army. Following the ceremony, these forgotten soldiers will be laid to rest under a commemorative marker in the largest Vietnamese-American cemetery in our country. 

Hanoi declined to take them.

One of the best speeches I ever heard in person was from a former ARVN infantry colonel when the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall came to OKC. That city has a large Vietnamese American community established by refugees from the war.

By the end of that speech, I think half the men in the crowd were ready to go back over and try again.

I'm glad these paratroopers will finally be laid to rest on free soil, even if it isn't in their own country.


Bones said...

They are to be buried in a free land, one they were denied. I'm happy that they are here.

Airborne all the way!

Grim said...

It’ll be theirs, too.

Harmon Ward said...

Westminster is adjacent to Garden Grove, where I was born. I will be paying my respects soon.

Texan99 said...