Vietnam veterans featured in Fort Hood Phantom Warrior Week ceremony
It was a day of awards and reflection.
"We have reflected on those who have gone before us, and who have made the ultimate sacrifice. and we have reflected on their families, and the sacrifices they are still making today," Lt. Gen. Don Campbell, Jr. said in his speech.
As well as reuniting.
"I ran into three guys today, they were in my unit in Vietnam, I hadn't seen them in 40 years," Former Harker Heights mayor and Vietnam vet, Ed Mullen said.
Fort Hood invited Vietnam veterans from all over the country to participate in Phantom Warrior Week so they can interact with active duty military, and receive the welcome home they so rightly deserve.
"I think the soldiers, NCO's and officers are doing an outstanding job."
"We're very proud of them."
"We are so proud of our Army, and we are so proud of these troops."
And the feeling, is mutual.
"These Vietnam veterans are the embodiment of this Nations finest traditions," Campbell said.
"We feel their lives are pretty tough, strangely they think the same with us," Mullen said.
Some have made it their mission to bring vets together.
"No one understands us, like we understand each other," Vietnam veteran Carl Bludau said.
Even 40 years later, they can still see the soldier inside.
"You'll see the, the weight go away, you'll see the wrinkles go away, and you'll take the civilian clothes off, and you'll see the military and that's really a fantastic feeling," Vietnam veteran Robert Simmons said.
And while the fighting is over, the serving is unending.
"We already gave to our country, but you never, if you really truly believe it, you never stop serving," Bludau said.