SHEFFIELD VILLAGE, OH - The Lorain County VA Outpatient Clinic joined the Department of Defense and VA facilities across the country Wednesday to commemorate the Vietnam War's 50th Anniversary. A war many veterans are still processing long after its conclusion.
"When I came back I was asked 'Where you been soldier?' I said Vietnam and they just spitted," said veteran Efrain Acosta. "I had to take a the train I remember going down the train looking up and feeling like it was raining."
This ceremony helped to heal the hurtful memories many experienced during the war and stateside. During the remembrance picnic, veterans received what many did not when they first arrived home from war. A friendly face and warm welcome. Veterans were presented with a special pin acknowledging their service during one of the nation's most controversial wars.
Among those honored included Samuel Felton Jr. of Lorain. Felton is a Navy Cross recipient, the second highest U.S. military honor awarded for valor in combat. Felton says he disobeyed direct orders to rescue his fellow marines all while under enemy fire.
"I got shot in the process and killed a few Vietnamese soldiers on the way back," said Felton who served three tours in Vietnam. "I had one guy on my shoulder one guy under my arm and somehow I made it back - the good Lord's grace I guess."