The goal of this GoFundMe is to help aging 1/1 Marine Vietnam veterans who do not have sufficient funds to be able to attend reunions and meet with the comrades with whom they went through so much, perhaps for the last time.
1st Battalion, 1st Marines was at the forefront of combat in Vietnam. All of us experienced mortal danger and witnessed both heroism and scenes worse than most horror movies.
Unlike previous wars, veterans of the Vietnam war were badly treated upon returning home. There were no heroes' welcomes. We were not given respect. Some of us were spit on. We were treated as damaged goods, portrayed in movies as having a screw loose, often discriminated against in the job market and college admissions, and saw those who did not serve advanced above us in their careers.
The 1/1 Marines Vietnam veterans' reunions started as a couple of veterans periodically getting together, and has grown into group of several hundred that meets every two years. It is not a big party, but is a gathering for fellowship with others who have shared our experiences. For many of us, fellow veterans are the only people we can meaningfully talk to about our intense and lasting memories.
These reunions have become very important to us, but there are many who are unable to attend because of the cost. We would like to help these veterans to join us and visit with their comrades. This GoFundMe is being established to help those 1/1 Marine Vietnam veterans, who would not otherwise be able to attend because of the cost, to join us.
There is an upcoming 1/1 reunion in SanDiego this October, and already we have had several people say they can't afford to come. We don't intend to give free rides, but we would like to be able to help a little and make it possible for all of these people to come. This is especially important at this time because we are all getting up in years and starting to die off. For many of us this may be the last chance to see our old friends. Your help would be greatly appreciated.