John Rowan, a Queens resident who is now the national president of the VVA, and Don Fedynak, who served as chapter president from 1983-1986, both emailed to let us know the photo was taken at the 1985 Welcome Home Parade, which took place on May 8.
According to Fedynak, Vietnam veterans “marched across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan, past City Hall and down Broadway’s Canyon of Heroes in a hail of ticker tape.
“For most of the veterans it was long overdue,” continued Fedynak. “This was the first time they had been afforded such an honor since their return home from Vietnam.
And according to Rowan, the parade coincided with the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at 55 Water Street.
Both Rowan and Fedynak are actually in the photo. Then-Queens Borough President Donald Manes is the man in the center in the dark suit, and to his left in the hat and flight suit is Rowan.
And directly behind Rowan is Fedynak. Rowan also identified some other veterans in the photo:
“The flag bearer on the left is John Zimmerman, and behind him is Mike Boyle, since deceased from Agent Orange, in the cap. To his left is Dominick Yezzo, Esq., and to my right is Willie Hill. The vet in the wheelchair is Matt Raible, three men to his left is Ron Renne, and the Marine to Ron's left is Mike Kern.”
Also in the photo are chapter members Bill Ellis, Ken Trautman and Bob Delgato, according to Fedynak.
So there you have it, a fitting tribute to the veterans of Vietnam if it did come about a decade too late. Fedynak also sent us a couple more photos from the parade.