TULSA -- Three years after the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, several Vietnam veterans received their lapel pin right here in Tulsa
Mikael Hayes served in the U.S. Navy as a landing aid specialist.
“Video tape systems of carrier landings and launches because of inherent dangers of boats,” said Hayes.
The military is practically embedded in the Hayes family genes.
His father, Raymond Hayes, was by his side for this pinning ceremony. He served as a Coast Guardsmen in World War ||.
"Had a cousin who was walking military police patrol in downtown Saigon and was hit by a rocket attack," said Hayes.
Hayes was just one of the several Vietnam veterans honored in Tulsa by receiving the Vietnam War 50th anniversary lapel pin.
Recognition, Hayes says, is overdue.
“There was not a great deal of recognition for any serviceman but especially for the Vietnam veterans,” said Hayes.
Purple Heart Commander Mitchell Reed took time to reflect the tremendous efforts during the Vietnam War.
“It took the whole effort of every branch in the military and that means a heck of a lot,” said Reed.
Reed was sent to Vietnam on his birthday in 1968. The following year he received a Purple Heart after taking a bullet in his lung.
“I lost two friends that night that were killed, hand to hand combat,” said Reed.
He spoke about his service at the pinning ceremony on Sunday, and how important it is to never forget about the past brave Americans who have served our country.
"I do get emotional when people say thank you for serving and for being a soldier," said Reed.
Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces between November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975 regardless of location are eligible to receive the pin.
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