The striking way Vietnam veterans are helping the next generation of vets

By Caitlin M. Kenney

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Jon Tester of Montana says one of the most striking things he’s noticed during his term is the effort Vietnam-era military veterans have taken to advocate for younger veterans.

“I think the most significant change that has happened over my ten years is that, when the folks started coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, the veterans of Vietnam stepped up in a big, big way,” he told ConnectingVets.

“I remember a listening session that I had in eastern Montana … and one of the veterans stood up and said, ‘You’re not going to treat these folks like you treated us,’ and quite frankly it was from the heart and it was true.”

Jon Tester

U.S. Senator Jon Tester of Montana listens during a Bozeman Veterans Listening Session on Sept 30, 2014. (Courtesy of U.S. Sen. Jon Tester)

Tester, who is the ranking member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, said his goal was to listen to veterans’ concerns and address their needs, such as health care, housing, and education.

“We are going to be taking their concerns back to Washington, D.C. and doing our level best to address those concerns.”

“The Vietnam veterans, who were dealt really a raw deal when they came back home from Vietnam through no fault of their own, really have stepped up and made a big, big difference,” Tester said.

Connect: @CaitlinMKenney | Caitlin@ConnectingVets.com

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