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Vietnam veterans honored in Wednesday morning ceremony

September 5, 2012

Photo by Becky Polaski Vietnam veteran Jerry Bonfardine is shown receiving a medal acknowledging his service during the war from Betina Nicklas, Clearfield County Director of Veterans Affairs, while Rep. Matt Gabler, in back, and Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson, front, look on during Wednesday morning's ceremony at VFW Post 813 in DuBois.

DuBOIS – State Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) and Congressman Glenn "GT" Thompson (R-5) were among the individuals who attended a special ceremony on Wednesday morning at VFW Post 813 in DuBois to pause to honor area veterans who served during the Vietnam War.
The salute to the veterans was hosted by Gabler, who acknowledged that for many of the 126 veterans in attendance at the ceremony, their "return home was not as it should have been."
"The climate in our country when you returned home from Vietnam was not one that was mindful of the sacrifice that you made," Gabler said. "One of the great injustices of our time was the way our Vietnam War veterans were treated upon their return home.
"We can never correct that. We can never fix that. History is what it is, but for us to take a moment now and recognize that many of you had been wronged, we can take a perspective on that and as a society, as a country, as a community, and as a state, pause to thank you and to try to make an effort to make that right."
As part of his effort to draw attention to the sacrifices of those who served in Vietnam, Gabler informed those in attendance that he recently disseminated a co-sponsor memo to his colleagues introducing a resolution to designate October 2012 as "Agent Orange Recognition Month" in Pennsylvania.
"We understand that the sacrifices made by our veterans as a result of the Vietnam War did not end on the battlefield. For many of you, I understand, it continues to this day. We owe a great debt of gratitude to each and every one of you, and taking some time to pause and remember and thank you is appropriate both through this ceremony and through this resolution, which it is my hope we'll be adopting in the House later this month when we return to session," Gabler said.
DuBois Mayor Gary Gilbert also issued a proclamation during the program, declaring Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 as Vietnam Veterans' Day in the City of DuBois.
Thompson, the honored speaker for the program, offered a few brief remarks about how popular culture often projects the notion to young viewers that they should idolize professional athletes, musicians, or individuals on reality television programs.
"[Television programs] try to encourage these kids that their superheroes are f

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