The small community of Thorp is coming together in a big way to honor and pay tribute to their local Vietnam veterans.

On Sunday, a patriotic parade went down the streets of Thorp. 

“Mostly to the Vietnam Veterans because they didn’t get a welcome home very much when they came back from Vietnam,” said Robert Hmielak, a member of the Thorp American Legion.

They were throwing a city-wide celebration to welcome home local Vietnam veterans.

“I was only over there 2 and a half months, I got wounded so when I came back I didn’t meet all of the hostilities that other people did, they flew me in, the ambulance met me at the airport and took me right into the hospital so I didn’t have to put up with it,” said Billy Buss, a Vietnam veteran.

On Sunday, they were handing out yellow ribbons. 

“It means they were in the Vietnam War,” said Aiden Hempleman, a local Boy Scout. 

They had the entire town covered in yellow bows. “They told us like 200 bows, well not Thorp, we did 500 bows,” said Pat Nowalk, a member of the Women’s Auxiliary.

To honor those that are alive today and those who were lost in combat as they read the names of all soldiers from Taylor County and Clark County who died during the Vietnam War.

It was all part of the long overdue homecoming celebration.

“I never expected it to change that much but I am happy to see that people have changed,” Buss said.
After 50 years, bringing the community together to honor the veterans. 

“It’s just to let you know that we appreciate your service to our county that when you were called and keeping our home country that’s the main thing in that.”