Pin Ceremony for Vietnam Vets in Poconos

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EAST STROUDSBURG -- More than 100 Vietnam War veterans packed a VFW Post in East Stroudsburg.

Decades after their service, they got a special pin and a thank you from elected officials.

"We hung our uniforms in the closet and very quietly went back into civilian life, and so this is nice when you get recognition and people come out and say, 'Hey, thank you for your service,” said Glen Lippincott of Vietnam Veterans of America.

For many, this ceremony and the pins were a long time coming.

"We came home and there wasn't a good welcome for us, and through the years, it was just, you just kept on, but I got the phone call last week that they're having the ceremony up here and I was tickled pink, and it was so long in the making,” said Frank Guercia of Chestnuthill Township.

Many say they carry the memories of the war with them.

"I have memories of it almost every day. It's something you think about in the morning and you think about at night,” said Don Surgent of East Stroudsburg.

The weight of those memories can be heavy and so these veterans say they're grateful to have other vets to lean on.

"These are brothers. We'll help each other out no matter what. As long as we know they are veterans, any veteran, we'll help them out,” said Peter Ruppert of Barrett Township.

"It was an unpopular war and we were unpopular warriors and the only ones we could kind of depend on were each other so there's a strong bond of camaraderie between the Vietnam vets because of that because we were shunned by our nation basically when we left the service,” said Lippincott.

Organizers say having this ceremony the day after Memorial Day is a good way to extend the thanks to veterans living and deceased this week.

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