By Ashley Rader
A long-overdue welcome is just days away for veterans of a decades-old war.
History students at Elizabethton High School are taking steps to right a wrong done by a previous generation, organizing a homecoming for Vietnam veterans connected to EHS or Elizabethton.
The EHS Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home Ceremony will be held Thursday, May 16, at 10 a.m. at EHS.
Eleventh-grade students Rachel McAuley and Tyler Livingston are leading the effort to organize the ceremony; all students in Alex Campbell’s U.S. history class are participating in the event.
McAuley approached Campbell about doing something for local Vietnam veterans after watching a video in class that detailed how American troops were treated when they returned from service in Vietnam.
“They were treated horribly,” McAuley said. “They were so mean to them. People would spit on them and call them baby-killers. One veteran threw away his uniform in the bathroom at the bus station because they treated him so bad.”
She said at first she was “really angry” with the whole generation for the way the Vietnam veterans were treated but decided to do something to make a change.