Local/State

Vietnam veterans prepare for emotional homecoming

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thousands of Vietnam veterans from across North Carolina are getting ready for a hero's welcome. They plan to attend a big event in Charlotte at the end of the month.

For at least one veteran, this will be an emotional welcome home that has been decades in the making.

John Rogers cries every time he thinks of Vietnam. Four decades after the fought there, he still battles health problems, and memories of the buddies he lost.

"I still think of them in a heartbeat," said Rogers.

Rogers said there was no happy homecoming from Vietnam.

"When I came back, it was 'John you are back home, glad to see you,' that was it," said Rogers.

Rogers keep his medals, citations, and memories packed away.

Peggy Rogers said she felt her husband's hurt, as he watched the soldiers come home from Afghanistan and Iraq to a hero's welcome.

"They [Vietnam vets] didn't get what the ones now get, the big celebrations, the big thank you -- you know -- the respect," said Peggy.

It is something John Rogers never thought he would live to see. For the first time in 40 years, he will cry tears of joy.

The Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration will be held at the Charlotte Motory Speedway Saturday, March 31. Click here for more information on the event.

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