At the Jackson Center, the flags billow so urgently it’s like they’re overwhelmed with patriotism.
The center brims with authentic Vietnam history: vehicles, weapons, even re-enactors.
One re-enactor explains why they keep showing up to these events in uniforms they’re far too young to wear.
It’s all for the people who donned them in combat.
First Patriot Support Corps Member Veronica Marino says, “It’s amazing to see how their eyes just lighten up. They can relate to it. They tell stories. It’s keeping history alive.”
The stories here far outnumber the people. Grab just about anyone, and you’ll get a handful.
We spoke with Veteran Zig Jastrebski who told us, “I flew in the air force. I flew F-4’s during Vietnam in 1972.”
These folks show up to find fellow warriors to accompany their memories, though they mostly come armed with stories and lessons – they also bring purpose.
Jastrebski says he’s there for “camaraderie, and also to get the information out about what we did in Vietnam and how that war was, because the political correctness doesn’t really express a lot of things that really happened there.”
The stories of this crowd can’t be summed up in war gear and re-enactments.
But it can be summed up by a re-enactor.
Marino explains, “It is our heritage. It is where we come from. The people who have worn these uniforms have fought and died in these uniforms, and that’s why we are here today.”