Vietnam vets honored in Princeton

Vietnam Veterans in Princeton, W.Va.
Vietnam Veterans in Princeton, W.Va.(WVVA)
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 12:56 AM EDT
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PRINCETON, W.Va. (WVVA) - Mercer County celebrated it’s Vietnam veterans on Sunday at the Vietnam Veterans of America/628 center in Princeton.

Veterans were shown nothing but respect on Sunday -- but many attendees spoke on how some were treated when first returning home.

“A lot of the recognition these folks deserve is long overdue,” said Cecil Marson, Bluefield, W.Va. City Manager. “It’s kind of a little bit of a black mark on this nation, the way the veterans were treated.”

“When they came back they weren’t as welcome as modern veterans are today,” said Hunter McGwire, a Montcalm High School ROTC student. “But they’re still just as important or maybe even more important.”

As one veteran put it though -- a life of hardship and service prepared him well.

“I left home when I was seven years old, I ran away. When I was eight years old, I haven’t shed a tear since then,” said Al Hancock, Vietnam Veteran. “But I never will forget what I went through, but god is good through it all.”

Hancock joined the Air Force in 1955 at 25 years old -- he said it helped him out of a rutt, and began a long career of working for his country.

“I’m a retired schoolteacher now, taught school for 15 years after I got out of the military,” said Hancock. “I left there and I went to Bluefield State College and worked for another five years.”

Now though -- he’s enjoying a well-deserved retirement.

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