Vietnam Veterans honored in Mercer County

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We honor those that give the ultimate sacrifice. Vietnam Veterans from southern West Virginia were welcomed home.

“Welcome home, it’s two simple words that mean so much,” West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said.

Two words that close to 50 years ago that had a different meaning for Ernest Baringer when he returned from Vietnam back onto U-S soil. He was greeted by an unlikely visitor.

“So I opened the door and she was standing and I was thinking that she was there to greet family members, instead she spit on my ribbons,” Baringer said.

The Vietnam War was an unpopular topic back in the 60’s and 70’s. Making life tough for veterans including Baringer and many others. But he spoke in front of the packed house about a furry friend that’s helped him and many other veterans struggling with PTSD.

“It means the world to them and it means the world to a veteran that they can now go out in public,” Baringer said.

After Baringer, veterans from all branches of the military were given an special, emotional pinning of medals. For Ronald Pennington and many other veterans, this is a great way to end a major chapter in their life.

“It feels good, it feels really good,” Pennington said.

The official Vietnam Veteran Celebration Day in the Mountain State is March 30th.

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