OSWEGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A Vietnam Veteran shared his emotional story after spending the day in Washington D.C. as part of Saturday’s Mission 18 Honor Flight.
It was an emotional day for veterans seeing the monuments honoring their service and sacrifice. For Vietnam veteran, Bill Patterson, says it finally gave him closure after 56 years.
“I never cried so much in my life,” said Patterson.
Decades later, Patterson finally received the welcome home he deserved from his family and the local community.
“I just thought, where was this 56 years ago when I came home,” said Patterson.
Giving him the closure he has been searching for, Patterson says after Saturday’s Honor Flight he finally felt appreciated.
Patterson, an Oswego native returned back home to the United States in 1967 after serving in Vietnam for 11 months. For the first time, he finally got to see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, finding the name of his friend who never made it home.
“I carried his body out of the jungle and I found his name on the wall. Me and my daughter and it was like kind of closure for me,” said Patterson.
Patterson says without being on Saturday’s Mission 18 Honor Flight, he would’ve never gotten that closure he’s needed for 56 years.