Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs made his mark on Mount Vernon. Many in town made their mark on him, too. Wirfs and his mother, Sarah, took The Gazette on a tour of his hometown, revisiting scenes around what essentially is the one square mile where he grew up. This story is a little about what can hold you back. This is mostly about what moves you forward.

Letters to the Editor

Vietnam veterans should be honored

As I get older, I appreciate and respect more and more our citizens who were in the military and protected the rest of us at great personal sacrifice to themselves and their families.

For the last several years, if I am able to recognize someone who served in the military, I try to thank them for their service. But when I find someone who served during Vietnam I not only thank them but I apologize to them also for how this country treated them when they returned. Vietnam vets have told me the same story again and again — they were spit on, hit, tripped, had obscenities screamed at them, and items thrown at them. Shame on us.

I tell them that people were not mad at them — they were taking their anger at the war and the administration out on them. Which was not fair or right — and little consolation for the men and women who went through it.

I think this country owes these Vietnam Vets an apology and by some means needs to give them the heroes’ welcome they deserved almost 50 years ago. Perhaps Cedar Rapids or Iowa needs to take the lead, with a declared day in their honor and a parade. Many of these soldiers are in their 60s and 70s. I don’t want them to die without hearing we appreciate them and honor them.

Judy Gustafson

Cedar Rapids

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

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