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Group to host welcome home banquet for veterans

The Tri-State Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America is hosting a banquet in honor of those who never got a proper welcome home.

The organization is hosting a free dinner for Vietnam combat veterans as well as those who served during the Vietnam era.

“The Vietnam veterans never got a welcome home and what’s what we’re doing,” Ron Wroblewski, chapter president, said.

The dinner will also celebrate the chapter’s fifth anniversary, which was Jan. 31. The dinner will be 6:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at the VFW Post 1064 at 920 Seventh Ave. in Huntington.

Members of the organization meet monthly and participate in projects for the veterans hospital in Huntington. The group also held a dinner for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

“Our motto is ‘never again will one generation of veterans abandon another’, so we held a welcome for them,” Wroblewski said. “We had a big shindig for them.”

The Vietnam veteran said he would have like to have experienced a similar welcome when he returned from his service in Vietnam.

“We were treated horribly, horribly,” he said. “On our return we were treated with very much disrespect.”

A “congratulations” or “welcome home” would have had great meaning to the veterans, he said, “because we never lost a battle in Vietnam.”

Wroblewski said the lack of welcome is why to this day when Vietnam veterans meet each other, they always tell each other “welcome home.”

The veterans’ dinner will include baked steak and side items as well as a drink. Veterans may also bring a guest to the event. Huntington Mayor Kim Wolfe, a Vietnam veteran himself, will be the quest speaker.

The dinner will be 6:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at the VFW Post 1064 at 920 Seventh Avenue in Huntington.

Reservations for the free banquet must be submitted by Feb. 1. Call (304) 453-4712 to register.

Veterans can also mail a letter including their name, address and phone number, as well as the name of their guest to Ron Wroblewski at PO Box 734 Ceredo, WV 25507-0734. Veterans are asked to bring their DD-214.