Vietnam veterans honored in Suffolk

Posted at 1:43 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 16:31:30-05

Suffolk, Va. (WTKR) - Veterans of the Vietnam War were recognized and honored Wednesday during a breakfast at Bunny's Restaurant in Suffolk.

A group of veterans of several wars gathers at the restaurant on the first Wednesday of every month for fellowship and breakfast.

The tab is picked up by William and Sarah Blair of Suffolk, who have paid for the meals for decades, first anonymously and later joining the veterans in person.

"We’re showing recognition for their service to the country. They kept us safe and they did a sacrifice. They didn’t complain," William Blair shared with NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo.

During Wednesday's breakfast, Vietnam veterans were honored by Command, Naval Surface Force Atlantic (CNSL) as part of the Department of Defense's Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.

CNSL is a commemorative partner to the DoD program to honor and thank Vietnam veterans.

"It doesn’t feel like 50 years. It absolutely doesn’t. I would say 15, 20 years it feels like but obviously it isn’t. It’s 50," commented Terry Peterfeso, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam.

The event included remarks by Sailors from Norfolk-based ships named after Vietnam-era service members including the USS Laboon, USS Oscar Austin and USS James E. Williams.

LTJG Franklin Van Valkenburg was there representing the USS Laboon.

"You can crack open a history book and read about it and see the photographs, but you get the firsthand knowledge and you see the look in their eyes and you understand from a heartfelt perspective that is what they went through, that is the price of freedom, it makes it so much serious," he shared.

To learn more about the Department of Defense's commemoration of the Vietnam War, click here.