The Marine Corps Years
Rick Swan

Welcome Home, Marine
7 Feb 99

 Marine Home  

Paul Greenblatt, my friend since 1978, and savior of my young butt on many occasions, delivered this speech on February 7, 1999.  He was assuming the position of the United States government.

I have been sent here today from Washington, D.C., representing your government, to participate in this ceremony.

Richard H. Swan, you gave dedicated and meritorious service as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, serving from April 1967 to July 1971.  You served in Vietnam from July 1969 to July 1970 with the 1st Radio Battalion, located at Dong Ha and Hill 37.

During that time, you did everything we asked of you.  And you willingly laid your life on the line for the safety and security of millions of Americans.  And you did that, blessedly, without killing or wounding another human being.

We hope and pray that neither you nor the young men and women who come after you ever have to lay their lives on the line in war again.

Speaking for the government, I also want to apologize to you, Rick, to the other Vietnam vets, and to all of you present.  We lied to ourselves, to you, to the American people, and to the world.  We had other reasons, based ultimately on fear, for initiating and pursuing this war.  But that does not take away from what you did nor the hurtful way you were received upon your return to the U.S.

You have our deepest appreciation for your service in Vietnam and our deepest apologies and request for forgiveness for the way we treated you and your brothers in arms when you returned.

Rick Swan, representing your government and the people of these United States of America, I officially and personally welcome you home from the hostilities in Vietnam.

And, if you ever walk in to a bar where I happen to be, your money is no good there.

Marine Home