Nebraska Vietnam veterans honored at Omaha National Cemetery

Today marks 50 years since the last American troops withdrew from South Vietnam.
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 12:10 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - On this day five decades ago, it was the beginning of the end of the United State’s military involvement in the Vietnam War.

Across the nation, soldiers are being recognized for their service, including here in Nebraska.

“Our fallen heroes are the finest examples of our nation’s treasures, treasures more valuable than our national monuments, our Capitol building and White House, all the acres in the national parks, and all the corn in the heartland,” said Jim Meier, director of Nebraska’s chapter of Honor and Remember, as he began his speech at the Omaha National Cemetery on Wednesday.

Dozens gathered in the cold to honor Nebraskans who served and the 58,000 soldiers who died in the war.

“When we come home, we wasn’t remembered really well. I guess we didn’t get the attention we needed, and now that everything’s going, they’re really, especially this cemetery is really helping,” says Gary Buck, an Army Vietnam veteran who attended Wednesday’s ceremony.

Buck served from 1968 to 1969 and says today is an incredibly important day — a day to honor the friends he lost.


Posted by 6 News WOWT on Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Everywhere he goes, Buck carries pieces of his service with him and his family.

“I had this coat made in Vietnam out of a poncho, and she wears it once in a while,” Buck says, pointing to the coat his wife is wearing. “It tells the years I was there and where I was at.”

Before closing, Meier encouraged the community to recall the names of the fallen soldiers, 400 of which were from Nebraska.

Meier also left the community with a challenge.

“Write a few sentences about what you learned today and why it matters to you, and tonight as you lay down to go to sleep, ask yourself: What is one thing I can do tomorrow to be a better citizen?”

A Vietnam Veterans memorial and library are set to be built in Sarpy County and open sometime in 2024. A bill in the legislature, LB609, would provide the memorial foundation with the funding they need to get the project underway.