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Welcome Home

John Clanton Modified: April 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm •  Published: June 13, 2010

Since 2001, I’ve photographed many deployment ceremonies and even more homecoming ceremonies for US Army and National Guard Soldiers. Last week I photographed a homecoming from a different point of view.

Russell Traut, age 3, plays on the bleachers inside Rinehart Fitness Center, while Billy Nash, (right) a member of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 751, waits for soldiers to arrive prior to a homecoming ceremony for soldiers returning from Iraq at Fort Sill on Tuesday, June 8, 2010. The Vietnam Veterans group, based in Lawton, Okla., have been to every deployment and homecoming since Sept. 11, 2001. Russell Traut and his family welcomed home Russell's father, SSgt. Michael Traut. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
Russell Traut, age 3, plays on the bleachers inside Rinehart Fitness Center, while Billy Nash, (right) a member of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 751, waits for soldiers to arrive prior to a homecoming ceremony for soldiers returning from Iraq at Fort Sill on Tuesday, June 8, 2010. The Vietnam Veterans group, based in Lawton, Okla., have been to every deployment and homecoming since Sept. 11, 2001. Russell Traut and his family welcomed home Russell's father, SSgt. Michael Traut. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

Members of The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 751 have been at every deployment and return since Sept. 11, 2001. They arrive early and get seats near the band. They watch the return ceremony with family members and current soldiers. Afterward, veterans like J.C. Humphries and Norm Windsor make their way through the crowd and greet as many soldiers as they can. As you can hear in the slideshow, or read in Ron’s story, the Vietnam Veterans hope they are giving today’s soldiers the welcome home that they never had.

J.C. Humphries, a Vietnam Veteran, welcomes soldiers home during a ceremony for soldiers returning from Iraq at Fort Sill on Tuesday, June 8, 2010. Members of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 751, have been to every deployment and return since Sept. 11, 2001. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
J.C. Humphries, a Vietnam Veteran, welcomes soldiers home during a ceremony for soldiers returning from Iraq at Fort Sill on Tuesday, June 8, 2010. Members of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 751, have been to every deployment and return since Sept. 11, 2001. Photo by John Clanton, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

-John Clanton

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