Vietnam veterans honored during ceremony in Nacogdoches

Vietnam veterans honored during ceremony in Nacogdoches

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Today is National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The recognition honors the nine million American men and women who served on active duty from November 1, 1955, to May 7, 1975.

The ceremony in Nacogdoches brought out a record number of guests.

It's a day of honor. Hopefully, also an accepted apology. Vietnam War veteran George Lowery and president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Pineywoods Chapter 931 recalls the homecoming.

“It was an unpopular war and we came back from the war and nobody really cared."

Vietnam War veteran J.D. Collett was among the millions who had difficulty with the transition from combat to an unwelcoming civilian life. Despite a successful career as an undercover narcotics agent, the twice Purple Heart recipient’s mental state sent him to the edge. What took him over was another event in 1997.

“April 1 at ten o'clock that morning my son committed suicide," shared the regretful father.

From that point on, Collett devoted his life to his family. Instead of hanging out in bars, he entered the trenches to help veterans in need.

"I have Cardboard Heroes does homes for homeless veterans. And I have Task Force Home which we work with PTSD vets. We work with families of military suicides and we do family groups," said Collett.

The Veterans Administration estimates more than 300,000 vets are homeless at any given point.

“I would be the first to admit there are some of them out there because they want to be, but you don’t think that everyone is like that.”

Collett encourages veterans not to ignore anxieties, sleepless nights, or behavioral disorders. Damages from the Vietnam War or any conflict don't have to last a lifetime.

He urged listeners, “Go get help. Help is out there.

Collett said the Lone Star Military Resource Group is a good place for veterans to receive help.

Copyright 2019 KTRE. All rights reserved.