Honoring our Vietnam veterans

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Coyle Funeral and Cremation Services is offering a series of lunch and learns, in partnership with Heroes in Action over the next several months. The educational seminars are designed to honor those Vietnam veterans and their families in a very special way, as well as share the burial benefits they are entitled to from the government. As Coyle’s president, I will also discuss the monies provided from the government to help funeral funding, what is the family’s responsibility, and how we can work together to fill in any gaps. We will briefly discuss how preplanning funeral, burial and cremation arrangements can help minimize the emotional and financial concerns.

Americans have struggled to agree on how to characterize the long and costly U.S. military involvement in Indochina. Forty-one years later, the Vietnam War has become an important part of our history.

Some interesting facts about the war: The span of the Vietnam War lasted for 12 years. In 1961, advisors were sent to Vietnam to assess the conflict. In 1973, the last of the U.S. combat troops left the country, 2.5 million served, and two-thirds of them were volunteers, not drafted. The average age of the soldiers was 21, and 1 out of 10 did not survive. During World War II, the average soldier saw 40 days of combat in a four-year period. In Vietnam, the average soldier saw 240 days of active combat in one year.

Coming home: 75,000 were very severely disabled and 5,285 lost limbs. Sixty-one percent of those killed were under age 21, and sadly, 1,875 remain unaccounted for. Ninety-seven percent of soldiers received an honorable discharge.

Many movies have portrayed the veterans as unsuccessful. Actual statistics indicate Vietnam veterans’ personal incomes exceed that of the same non-veteran age group by 18 percent. There is a myth that Vietnam troops were made up of uneducated warriors, when in fact, those soldiers were the highest educated in combat history — 79 percent had a high school education or better.

Only a warrior can understand the experience — the toll it takes, the memories it creates, and the way it changes the warrior. What we as your friends, your wives, your children and your fellow citizens want to say is simply, “THANK YOU AND WELCOME HOME!”

If you are a Vietnam veteran, or know one who would benefit from attending one of our lunch and learns, please contact Megan Coyle-Stamos at Coyle Funeral and Cremation Services for dates and times, and to make your reservations. Seats are filling fast!

For more information, contact Coyle Funeral and Cremation Services at 419-865-1295 or email mcoyle-stamos@CoyleFuneralHome.com.