Eugene “Terry” Therrien of Sturgeon Bay celebrated his 72nd birthday on Feb. 24 by joining 52 other randomly chosen Vietnam veterans for a two-week, all-expenses-paid Old Glory Honor Flight to Vietnam. It’s called the Return to Nam Honor Flight, and the mission is described as one of peace and healing.
Each veteran on the trip was stationed in Vietnam or the surrounding area during the course of the war.
“Our Vietnam vets were treated poorly upon their return, and many feel as if they endured the horrors of war for nothing,” said Old Glory Honor Flight board member Scott Delsart. “This trip will give these vets an opportunity for some closure. Seeing firsthand how the Vietnamese people have recovered from the war will undoubtedly induce some much-needed healing for themselves.”
The group is scheduled to arrive back home on Saturday, March 9, and the community is invited to show its appreciation for all Vietnam veterans by attending a welcome-home celebration at the Menasha High School Fieldhouse from 5 to 8 pm. Admission to this family-friendly event is free, and entertainment will be provided by the 484th Army Band and the Menasha High School Band. Military equipment from the Vietnam era will also be on display.
“We want to see the Menasha High School Fieldhouse packed to the rafters to show these vets how much we appreciate what they did for us,” said Old Glory Honor Flight board member Diane MacDonald.
Organizers are planning to produce a book to capture each veteran’s individual story, in addition to including brief historical context of the Vietnam War and documentation of the return journey to Vietnam.
For more information, visit oldgloryhonorflight.org. You can also follow the Return to Nam trip on the Old Glory Honor Flight Facebook page.