Hattiesburg museum honors Vietnam vets, celebrates 8th anniversary

Hattiesburg museum honors Vietnam vets, celebrates 8th anniversary

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - African-American veterans of the Vietnam War were honored Thursday at a Hattiesburg museum, as it celebrated its 8th anniversary.

Eight veterans got certificates, lapel pins and commemorative coins at the African-American Military History Museum.

"All too often, we're not recognized, we're not recognized, I appreciate it very deeply, I appreciate it," said James Simmons of Hattiesburg, one of the veterans honored.

He served in the U.S. Army for 22 years and did two tours in Vietnam.

The museum is honoring Vietnam War-era veterans as part of a nationwide commemoration which began in 2016.

"We've partnered with the National Vietnam War Commemoration Program and, as a part of that program, we recognize veterans twice per calendar year, through 2018," said Latoya Norman, museum manager. "So, this is the third program that we've had so far and we have three more to go."

The museum is also marking its birthday.

It opened in May of 2009 and is housed in the historic East 6th Street USO building, which served as a recreation center for African-American soldiers who were training at Camp Shelby in World War Two.