Hometown Heroes - Vietnam Veterans
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Terry Courville and Roger Pete are just two of the Lake Area’s Vietnam Veterans who will be honored at a special ceremony this Saturday, March 26, 2022 in Lake Charles. It’s a welcome home that’s long overdue, since Vietnam Vets were often spat upon and not supported like World War 2 vets after the came back from the war.
“World War 2 was bad,” said Courville. “But the infantryman in Vietnam saw more combat in one year than a foot soldier in WWII saw in years. They’d bring us in with choppers and after the battle was over with, they’d pick us up and bring us to another hotspot.”
Roger Pete spent 40 years in ministry work after returning from his military careers in both the Navy and the Marines.
“The thing that bothers me is what people have as a concept of what Vietnam was like, and they weren’t there,” said Pete. “That makes it quite difficult to deal with. Everyone who was in military conflict, we have problems from it. We still have problems from it.”
Both men experienced post traumatic stress disorder after the war and still deal with it today.
“I wasn’t shell shocked,” said Courville. “We did our job, but then, different sounds bring us back there. It’s still a health issue right now.” Courville is now state chairman of the Veteran Veterans Association.
And it’s ceremonies like these that give civilians the chance to say “thank you” and “welcome home.” The Vietnam Veterans Day Ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park. In case of rain, it will be moved to the American Legion Post 1 Home on 9th St. in Lake Charles.
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