RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Recently, U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson has been awarding Vietnam Veterans with Commemorative Lapel Pins to recognize their service.
Decades after the Vietnam War, U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson says veterans were not welcomed home properly.
“This is an opportunity for our country to try and do better. And to look those veterans in the eye, shake their hand, and say that a grateful nation thanks and honors your service,” Rep. Dusty Johnson said.
Two residents here at the Fountain Springs Healthcare Center are being awarded the Vietnam Commemoration Pins for their service years ago.
Harry Parkurst served in the Army and Navy during the Vietnam War. Theodore Big Crow served with the Marine Corp in the late 60s as an 18 year old.
“It’ll help you grow up is what it did to me,” Big Crow said.
Big Crow says while this was a hard experience, he learned so much.
“You meet different people, and one thing in the service, it didn’t matter what race you were, we all got along especially in Vietnam. We were like brothers,” Big Crow said.
To properly honor the service of Big Crow and Parkurst, Representative Johnson presented them with these pins.
“The pins that we provide these veterans with is filled with imagery that talks about how great this country is, how noble their service was. My favorite part is on the back of the pin and it says, ‘A grateful nation thanks and honors your service.’ It’s the whole heart of the message that we deliver,” Rep. Johnson said.
If you served in the Vietnam War or have a family member who served, you can apply for them to receive a commemorative pin.