Vietnam war veterans coming home from their tours of duty did not get the kind of reception others had upon their return.
They were booed, called "baby killers" and spat upon by the same people they were trying to protect.
Over the years, some efforts have been made to try and heal that open wound. One of the most recent efforts is a ride for healing, which is being sponsored by the Department of Minnesota Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
A week-long ride across Minnesota is scheduled to begin May 27 with stops at various locations, and among those stops is a visit to VFW Post 2553 in Redwood Falls.
The riders are scheduled to be in the community at the VFW hall for a fundraising rally to honor those Vietnam veterans and to help raise funds for a veterans education center in Washington, D.C.
The event is scheduled to start at 2:15 p.m.
Lee Ulferts has asked communities across the state to take part in the ride for healing by attending a rally and supporting the VFW's efforts.
"As a combat wounded veteran of Vietnam, I see this is a 'healing' process and the welcome home that many of the Vietnam veterans never received," said Ulferts. "The education center at the national Vietnam veterans memorial will house the legacy of the Vietnam veterans and their sacrifices."
The ride is scheduled to begin at the Minnesota Vietnam veterans memorial in St. Paul May 27 and ends May 31 in Brainerd where a two-day event featuring the Vietnam traveling wall, military flyovers and a ceremony are being held.
According to Roger Hassebroek, VFW Post 2553 commander, the local rally is going to take place in the VFW hall parking lot.
As part of the rally, an official from the VFW state department is going to deliver a message honoring and thanking Vietnam veterans for their service, with a question and answer session scheduled as well.
The rally is scheduled to continue until 3:30 p.m., and Hasse-broek said the community is invited and encouraged to attend.
There are going to be opportunities for the public to make donations to the education center project during the rally.
Those who want more information about the ride for healing event are encouraged to contact Hassebroek at (507) 627-5220.
More information is also available online at www.rideforhealing.com or at www.vfw.state. mn.us.