March 30 is Welcome Home Vietnam Veteran’s Day, and right in step with that holiday our community has found two different ways to honor this strong group of individuals. My heart feels good knowing that in our small town, we are showing our appreciation for this progressive group of veterans. 

The Columbia River Maritime Museum has a new exhibit that opened March 18 that I hope many will turn out to see, in which graffiti from our young men on their way to war is displayed amongst the remaining from the bunks of a troop ship. 

On Saturday, Jim Rankin and I, along with Lum’s Auto Center and Marine Corps League 1228, invite our veterans of all theaters and their family members to join us for the Welcome Home Veterans Event at Lum’s on 1605 S.E. Ensign Lane in Warrenton for a barbecue, cake, good company and good conversation.

Over the past 10 years, I’ve had the honor of meeting numerous veterans who served in Vietnam, and I’ve been blessed to be able to capture their experiences and share them with others. Through the medium of being a biographer, I was able to spend time with these men and they changed my life for the better; they taught me much about strength, perseverance, and loyalty. I treasure them, and in terms of how our society is now learning to honor our Vietnam veterans, I say it’s about time!

If you’re a Vietnam veteran reading this letter, I thank you for your service, and your strength. You exemplify what I find to be beautiful, and though it’s been a long time coming, this is your time to be honored. Be proud of who you are, and all that you have accomplished.

KAREN CADONAU

Gearhart

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