A ceremony in Des Moines today honored Iowa’s Vietnam War Veterans. The third annual recognition event was held in front of the Vietnam Memorial on the State Capitol grounds. Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs Executive Director Patrick Palmersheim told the crowd their service was a reminder that freedom has a cost.
“As we remember our Vietnam Veterans today, let us console the grieving and protect their legacy. How else can we, the living, repay such a debt? Let us remember the 869 Iowans that are listed on this wall who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” Palmersheim said. Jim Cash of Ventura, Iowa served in Vietnam from June of 1967 to June of ’68.
“I came back and was spit on, looked down on and the veterans from World War II didn’t really accept us,” Cash recalled. “But now, that’s all starting to turn around.” About 115,000 Iowans served in the Vietnam War. They are now recognized every year on May 7th.