As more battles create more war veterans, some who already earned that title take the time to support local marines returning from combat zones.
We’ve seen the stories over the years, especially at the USO in Jacksonville; hot, holiday meals served to military members and their families, but the history stretches back nearly 70 years.
In those years the USO provided a home away from home for veterans of every war. Now it is one place where retirees volunteer to show their support for active duty troops.
Outside the USO those vets continue their work. It’s special for Vietnam veterans who say while they may not have had the warmest welcome home after their service, they want to be sure our marines get a well-deserved thank you now.
That’s one reason retired Sgt. Major Emmett Salas rides with the Patriot Guard as troops return home.
Salas said, “We want them to know that, to feel that what they did over there is appreciated. Our liberty was dependent on them doing their job and we appreciated and love them for that.
It’s that encouragement that has active duty marines pledging to get involved with their local USO and veteran groups once they retire from service.