Desert Storm veterans Jacob Pelletier and David Corcoran came to the ceremony for a chance to talk to fellow vets. The pair said the respect for veterans is coming back and they were welcomed back warmly but the lack of respect is actually on a much deeper societal level.
“Unfortunately, nobody respects anyone any more, so why should veterans be any different?”
Corcoran, from Peaster, said. “It’s almost a sense of entitlement that everyone, not just kids, but adults, too, seems to have. Everything should just be handed to you. I’ll tell you, those freedoms our forefathers fought for, they weren’t given to us.”
Perhaps the proudest veteran to attend Saturday’s ceremony was 97-year-old Rosalio Rodriguez, a World War II veteran who cried when he was asked about his memories of the war, still unable to talk about it to this day.
His son, David, remembers the stories his dad would tell, saying he wasn’t proud of what he did, having to kill to defend his freedoms, for his flag and his country. The elder Rodriguez is still filled with pride of the U.S. flag and his country, crying when he sees them disrespected.
“He still goes to the Legion post and you can see his eyes well up when he sees the flag,” David Rodriguez said.
“He taught all his 10 kids to respect the flag, the country and all veterans for what they did.”
Willie Fuller said he had a bad attitude toward life and everyone when he came home from Vietnam but says the attitude has changed toward veterans with more respect being given. Bret Watson, who served in Lebanon, says for many years it wasn’t a good idea to wear your veteran apparel out in public but that has since changed.