Lawmakers recently introduced a Resolution in Congress to spur official action on behalf of Vietnam Veterans who are long overdue for a formal apology for the treatment they received during and after the Vietnam War.
College of the Ozarks Chancellor Jerry C. Davis called for such a resolution to acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans in his book “Vietnam 101.”
“The book represents his passion and lifelong devotion to righting a wrong — the unforgiveable moment in history when hate and disrespect was extended to a group of soldiers who deserved our love and gratitude,” said Valorie Coleman, C of O public relations director.
Congressman Dan Crenshaw, of the Texas Second Congressional District, and Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska introduced the joint resolution that would commend those who served in the conflict “for their unwavering and courageous sacrifice to our nation.”
The Washington Times reported on the resolution today, stating that it would also urge President Biden to formally acknowledge the widespread mistreatment that Veterans received and offer a formal apology on behalf of the American people to the Veterans and their families.
“Vietnam is America’s unfinished business,” Davis said. “We owe Vietnam Veterans a formal apology. This is not about political parties — Democrats or Republicans — it’s about right or wrong. Those of us (99 percent of the population) who have our freedom preserved by the one percent in uniform need to acknowledge how Vietnam Veterans and their families were treated before it’s too late. This still matters and must be addressed.”
“We are pleased to see this resolution moving forward and would like to encourage everyone to thank our Veterans for their service,” said College of the Ozarks President Brad Johnson. “We aim to educate students and honor our Veterans every day at Hard Work U. During my first year at this institution, I have witnessed among our students a profound honor for Veterans and an inspiring love of country. Their passion is encouraging.”
Davis has worked with Crenshaw and others to make this call to action and to stir the hearts of Congress and the American people. On Jan. 21, Davis published an Op-Ed, “Vietnam War Veterans Deserve an Apology,” in The Wall Street Journal. His passion and clear directive was heard.
“Thankfully, lawmakers are listening,” Coleman said. “Dr. Davis has a driving passion to see a wrong righted. He has devoted his life to educating young people, and part of that is teaching history, patriotism and love of country.”
Under his leadership, College of the Ozarks instituted The William S. Knight Center for Patriotic Education, through which the College operates the Patriotic Education Travel Program, taking students to battlefields all across the globe, including Vietnam. He instituted the CitizenTrip®, sending 150 students to Washington, D.C., for an immersive patriotic learning experience each year, at no cost to the students. He built Patriots Park, and he formalized the patriotic curriculum of the College.
“We all owe a debt to Dr. Davis for his vision and foresight to educate young people in these ways. They go from here changed, inspired, ready to tell the stories of our honored Veterans,” Coleman said.
To view the progress of the resolution, S.J. Res.17, visit the link: Text - S.J.Res.17 - 118th Congress (2023-2024): A joint resolution to acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of veterans of the Vietnam war and formally apologize for the treatment they received upon returning home. | Congress.gov | Library of Congress
A call to action
College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis wrote and published the book “Vietnam 101: A Class Like No Other,” in which he urges Congress to put forth this resolution. The book represents his driving mission — to uncover the complexities, the mistakes, and the hurtful wrongs that were inflicted during the Vietnam War.
The book also chronicles Davis’ longtime commitment to these tasks by highlighting the Patriotic Education Travel Program at College of the Ozarks, a program he established to send Veterans, along with students, to the battlefields where they served. These Veterans share, with candor and honesty, their stories with C of O students. They are stories the Veterans may have never told anyone before. They trust students to care well for these stories and to pass them on to the next generation.
In the forward for Davis’ book, Col. Oliver North laments the response of the American people to those who served in Vietnam: “Unlike the nearly 17 million men and women who donned uniforms during World War II, there were no victory parades for my own U.S. Army brother’s heroic service in Vietnam. Not one of the approximately 2.7 million American men and women with whom we served during the Vietnam War received so much as a ‘Thanks for fighting for us’ note. The Vietnam War is the first armed conflict in the history of our nation in which our countrymen failed to welcome home its combat Veterans as heroes.”