Digital Original: Vietnam veterans visit Little Rock & share stories of the past

Digital Originals

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – On Wednesday, Americans across the nation came together to remember the lives lost on 9/11. Many took to social media in solidarity using the hashtag “NeverForget.”

However, for Richard Carvell, 75, those words hold an additional meaning – one that he hopes to keep alive well after he’s gone.

“We weren’t welcome back in a parade down Main Street and we promised ourselves many of us we would never let that happen to our military men and women every again,” explains Carvell, a Vietnam veteran. “We would never forget.”

Carvell is a member of the Tan Son Nhut Association. The nonprofit was created to show respect and support for all of those service personnel from the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, as well as the many civilians who served at any time during the Vietnam war.

“I was a precision photographer service officer,” explains Carvell. “I took pictures mainly personal pictures but each was unique.”

Carvell says he was lucky to get his position. Now retired, he spends his efforts helping his comrades stay united – something he hopes will carry on long after him.

“This is the first time the group has come to Arkansas,” says Carvell. “As an Arkansas resident, I am glad to welcome them to Arkansas.”

Nearly 100 members, along with their families traveled to the Natural State for their annual reunion.

“The men here have sacrificed so much,” Carvell explains. “I didn’t think about it then but I was away from my wife and didn’t hold my son until 9 months after he was born – a big sacrifice.”

In addition, the nonprofit awards scholarships to descendants of those who served in the Vietnam war.

To learn more about the group, click here.

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