JBLM tells Vietnam vets ‘it's never too late’ to say welcome home
Stephen Stribling looked wide-eyed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Thursday as he walked into a column of uniformed sailors waiting to thank him for his service in the Vietnam War.
The 66-year-old grinned as he took in the appreciation of active-duty troops. It was nothing like the lonely homecoming he experienced at the end of his combat tour in 1968.
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Stribling’s new Vietnam homecoming — 46 years in the making — unfolded at a JBLM salute to Vietnam-era veterans. It was meant to recognize a generation of military service members who too often felt scorned by the public after serving overseas.
“It is never too late, never too late, to pay tribute to the men and women who served and continue to serve our country,” said I Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Lanza, the senior Army officer at JBLM.