In this episode your happy podcaster, Mack Payne, brings you another story about a brave Vietnam Veteran who served his country with distinction and had to wait fifty years for a proper recognition and welcome home. This veteran’s story is described in an article found in The Journal-News of the Dayton Daily News Titled: McCrabb: Vietnam veterans deserved better treatment that was submitted by Rick McCrabb Staff Writer for the Dayton Daily News.
Blaine Underwood of Middletown, Ohio joined the Marines in 1966 upon graduation from Monroe High School in Butler County. Soon after that he found himself in Vietnam serving with the Marines in I Corps (That’s up north near the DMZ). When he came home he noticed something strange about a women who lived across the street. Before he went to Vietnam she was very friendly and neighborly and would often speak to him. That all changed when he returned. She never spoke to him again because she did not approve of our country’s actions in the Vietnam War. Blaine had another neighbor about his age who joined the Army about the same time he had joined the Marines. His neighbor was sent to Germany where he served his tour of duty. Upon his return the neighbor lady through him a nice “Welcome Home” party yet she never acknowledged Blaine’s existence when he came home from Vietnam.
Blaine finally got his proper welcome home when he went on an Honor Flight with 108 other veterans to see the memorials in Washington DC. He said that throughout the entire flight they were all treated “like royalty.” When the veterans and their chaperones landed at Dayton International Airport around 10 p.m., they were cheered by 1,500 people, many of them waving American flags.
Blaine’s wife, Kitty, who was among the welcome home crowd said “It was really emotional,” “ It brought tears to your eyes. The way they honored them. It made your heart… The guys were crying. I just was amazed. People that didn’t have anyone there, they came to honor the veterans.”
After all these years Blaine Underwood got his welcome home.