‘Wait­ing a long time’

Cer­e­mony gives Viet­nam vet­er­ans over­due recog­ni­tion

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— Jim Buck­land ar­rived in Viet­nam in Jan­uary 1970 at age 19. Less than two years ear­lier, he had en­listed in the U.S. Air Force as a high school se­nior be­cause, above other rea­sons, he felt called to serve his coun­try.

Some 22 months later, af­ter serv­ing a “sup­port role” that

PERRYVILLE

some­times in­volved mov­ing to for­ward po­si­tions, close to bat­tle, Buck­land re­turned state­side in Novem­ber 1971.

Buck­land didn’t ex­pect a hero’s wel­come when he and his com­rades landed at San Fran­cisco In­ter­na­tional Air­port, he said. Af­ter all, Buck­land noted, they sim­ply had done their duty as dic­tated by or­ders given by their su­pe­ri­ors.

As it turned out, how­ever, there was no sense of home­com­ing at all — just re­jec­tion from a hos­tile crowd at the air­port.

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY CARL HAMIL­TON

Ge­orge Owings III, sec­re­tary of the Mary­land De­part­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs, af­fixes a com­mem­o­ra­tive lapel pin on a blazer worn by Jim Buck­land, a Viet­nam War vet­eran who lives in Ear­leville.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.