This month has been designated “Black History Month” and it is only appropriate for the Vietnam Veteran News to feature an event honoring African American Veterans in Milwaukee. A stirring tribute Friday night, February 5, 2016 to honor all African American Veterans. The event was timed to take place during Black History Month at Milwaukee’s Zablocki V.A. Medical Center.
Vietnam Veteran William Carr came up with idea for African American ceremony. He didn’t think his fellow brothers in arms received the respect they had earned on the battlefield when they returned state side. Carr explained “This is the only program in the VA Medical Center system in North America that has a program of this magnitude. It’s for a specific color which is the African American veterans.”
African American Veterans need that recognition because so many times in the past they were denied the respect and recognition they deserved. One of the most egregious examples of stolen respect was found in the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. That was the name given to a group of black airmen in World War II. They had to overcome a mountain of prejudice just to get into the Army Air Force. They overcame that barrier and went on to perform in an exemplary fashion with an outstanding combat record. They were all considered heroes until they got off the ship back in New York. There they were only second class citizens and given no praise or recognition for their heroism in air combat against the German Luftwaffe.
The event held at Milwaukee’s Zablocki V.A. Medical Center is only the beginning steps toward mending the gross and disgraceful disrespect African American Veterans have had to suffer. They have served this country in all its wars even before we were a country when they fought in the Revolutionary War. The important thing to remember is that all veterans bleed red and should be respected for their service rather than their skin color.