I served four years with the U.S. Army Security Agency including a stint with the 8th Radio Research Field Station in Phu Bai, Vietnam, where I was awarded the Bronze Star.
The remainder of my service was at the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Md.
In March of this year, I changed my Texas license plate to one noting my Bronze Star award and personalized it “PHUBAI.”
It wasn’t long before I noticed reaction. Several have been very memorable: A young woman, probably in her 20s, pulled up at a stoplight, rolled down her window and said, “Thank you for your service.”
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On Interstate 35 in traffic, a man on a Harley slowly rode past on my side and gave me a salute.
A Fort Worth Police officer pulled beside me at an intersection, honked and said, “Thank you for your service and sacrifice.”
Naturally these events had a deep impact, as we Vietnam veterans struggle for acceptance of our service to our country.
— John M. Raiden, Fort Worth