November 18, 2009 10:03:00 AM
My hat is off to Mississippi State University. I was fortunate enough to attend a Vietnam Veterans Luncheon hosted by MSU Veteran''s Center the day after Veterans Day in the Foster Ballroom of the Colvard Student Union. Not only was it a delightful meal, but the company was great!
Awards were presented to faculty and administrators by Center Director Andrew Rendon for their dedication in making university life both available and more desirable for veterans.
A keynote address was given by former Lt Governor Amy Tuck which was truly "from the heart." It would have made any veteran listening, even the most hardened, "water up."
Following the food and ceremonies, a veterans group photo was taken, by at least three different cameras, with the admonition, "one more," given at least three different times, attesting to the enthusiasm and gratitude generated by the event.
I have heard it said that Vietnam Veterans make up the largest "secret fraternal organization" in the US because so few of them know one another.
This event went a long way in erasing that veil of secrecy, at least for me. Before this luncheon, I can honestly say, that since returning from Vietnam in 1970, I have never before been "thanked" for my Vietnam service. So now I want to say, "Thank You!" to all who organized and participated in this heartfelt event.
Joel P Okula, Starkville