Floats cruised and flags waved as hundreds gathered in Bennington on Sunday afternoon to give thanks to the Vietnam Veterans.
"By the looks of the turnout, I think we did well. I am very pleased. It looks awesome out there with all those flags up," said John Miner, President of the local Vietnam Vets of America chapter. To honor the 50th anniversary of the United States involvement in the Vietnam War, Miner took it upon himself to organize the festivities. Miner is proud of his service today, but said it wasn't always that way. "When I first came home, I felt it. I got so that I hid who I was," he said.
But the times are changing. Miner said events like Sunday's bring veterans together to remember those lost and be proud of those still standing.
The final stop of the parade was at a resource center that Miner established several years ago. A place where veterans can come together for help, and companionship. "It gives them a little feeling of peace to be able to come where their comrades are at. People that have been there, done that, you know it is easier to talk to those than the general public," said Gerald Woodard, a veterans outreach member. "We are here for all the troops regardless of what war you were from -- you have to have a place to come chill out."
"Things happened and I needed some help getting adjusted back to the civilian world," said Mike Buck. The veteran said he found that help at the Bennington Veterans Outreach Center. He said he struggled with alcohol, but found the path to recovery -- and a few friends along the way. "My admiration scale for these guys is about 1000," Buck said.
"The best part about it is I saw guys that belong to my chapter that haven't come to meetings or been around in five or six years -- and they were here today," Miner said. He said the parade helped the community to remember and honor the Vietnam veterans, but was even more special for the vets themselves. "The bottom line is it brought us all together again," he said.
Parade organizers said they hope to have an event every year until 2025, to honor and remember all 13 years the war lasted.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:49 PM EDT2014-04-17 03:49:04 GMT
Major flaws were uncovered in the Burlington School Budget that failed at the polls. An audit has discovered that the district was making huge errors when budgeting for next year. What this means, is thatMore >>
Major flaws were uncovered in the Burlington School Budget that failed at the polls. An audit has discovered that the district was making huge errors when budgeting for next year.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 9:50 PM EDT2014-04-17 01:50:35 GMT
The Stowe Police Department is currently investigating the untimely death of two adults. Stowe Police responded to 262 Cady Hill Road at 4:38 p.m. and discovered deceased individuals. The Stowe PoliceMore >>
The Stowe Police Department is currently investigating the untimely death of two adults.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:53:47 GMT
Teamwork between a Montgomery farmer and a corporal with the Franklin Country sheriff's department may have saved a life when they pulled off a daring rescue. A woman became trapped in her truck tryingMore >>
It was a lifesaving rescue in the nick of time. A Franklin County sheriff's deputy put his life on the line to save a woman trapped in a truck with floodwaters raging around her. More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:00:55 GMT
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin (D-Vermont), VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath. ShumlinMore >>
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin, VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:02:05 GMT
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York. The governor made the declaration Tuesday night. It covers six counties in northeastern of New York, including two inMore >>
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:21 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:21:46 GMT
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire. Michael Hayward, 42, of Sunapee, disappeared two months ago. His car was found near the Quechee Gorge. PoliceMore >>
A body found near the North Hartland Dam appears to be that of a missing man from New Hampshire.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:14 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:14:24 GMT
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. First responders say when they arrived at 42 Smith Street, the house was completely engulfed in flames. CityMore >>
Authorities say six people managed to escape a house fire in Plattsburgh Tuesday morning. Police say the blaze was sparked by a child playing with a lighter.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:07:50 GMT
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they got numerous calls about a young child walking down a road alone. They found the child about a mile from her home. She was brought back to the residence, but the NewMore >>
Police in Haverhill, N.H., say they found a young child alone about a mile from her home.More >>