When World War II came to an end, most returning soldiers were hailed as heroes and were thus subjected to warm heroes’ welcomes, complete with parades. Based on the recollection of 66-year-old Andrew Thundercloud, who served as a medic during the Vietnam War and who is now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, this same appreciation was not accorded the soldiers who fought during the Vietnam War, as shared in a feature on the Navy Times.
That is going to change, at least for vets who live in Wisconsin. An event dubbed as “LZ Lambeau” will gather thousands of Vietnam War veterans on Lambeau Field. Event director Don Jones shares: “It’s an opportunity to really say thank you and welcome to Vietnam veterans and their families.”
The event is organized by more than two dozen groups, among them the Wisconsin Historical Society, state Department of Veterans Affairs, Wisconsin Public Television. The gathering will include “food, camaraderie and memories.”
LZ Lambeau is part of an effort to document the experiences of the Vietnam War veterans in the state of Wisconsin, called “Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories.” The effort will include a documentary that will show interviews with veterans, a companion book, as well as discussion groups.
There will be entertainment as well, and for some, it will be a trip down memory lane with a performance from a band called She 5. The girl band performed as teenagers in Saigon, Long Binh, Dong Tam and Da Nang in 1968. Band member Dar Ryba-Borchardt joked about their coming performance in a Facebook entry: “Unfortunately we will not be wearing mini skirts and go go boots. Haha.”