thompson

Through an outpouring of support, family members say Jerry Thompson received the hero's welcome he never received when he returned from the Vietnam War. 📷 Contributed | Dave Flaishans

FORNEY, Texas — A Vietnam veteran received a hero's welcome as he returned to his Forney-area home on hospice care on Saturday — one many Vietnam-era veterans never saw.

Jerry Thompson, a Vietnam Combat Corpsman, departed the Dallas VA Hospital on Saturday afternoon; transported by ambulance driven by his grandson, an area paramedic.

Thompson's daughter, Missy, said her father rarely talked about his service other than his return from Vietnam which, at the time, had become increasingly unpopular as the war dragged on to become the United States' longest conflicts until it was overtaken by the war in Afghanistan.

"He has never really talked about his service but what he did tell us was how when he and other veterans returned from Vietnam they were spit on and cussed at," she said. "I would love to give him that Hero welcome now."

The Forney community read her message loud and clear as families, alongside current and former service members, other Veteran service groups, and first responders, lined the streets near the Thompson's Devonshire home — welcoming home a hero.

"Our 'welcome home' has had a tremendous response," Rodriguez later said. "We love you all for showing this act of kindness."