OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- Nearly a half century after the last combat troops pulled out of Southeast Asia, the service and sacrifice of Vietnam Veterans is being honored on Tuesday.
Many gathered at the Military Veterans Museum in Oshkosh to mark the occasion.
It was 1968, when a young Roger Blink posed for a photo in Vietnam. The U.S. Army Specialist was part of the 359th Transport Company. He drove 5000-gallon petroleum tankers, and a truck called "Brutus," which was designed to protect convoys delivering that fuel to air bases and landing zones.
"The purpose of a gun truck was to intimidate the enemy, to tell him basically we had more guns and fire power than he did," said Roger Blink, Vietnam Veteran.
Blink says the gun truck saw plenty of action.
"There were times when Brutus was knocked out of the battle, but it was rebuilt, and put back on the road within a week or so. After that, with a new crew. We had a lot of purple hearts, and one medal of honor was presented to a crewman on Brutus," he said.
Blink says he was never wounded.
"I was so skinny back then, they couldn't hit me," he said.
More than 50 years later, a fully-restored Brutus replica sits at the Military Veterans Museum in Oshkosh. Blink says it was an honor to drive a gun truck in Vietnam. He says talking with other service people helps the healing process.
"Any day is a good day for veteran's to get together, because we're of the same mind and experiences, and we can talk to them like nobody else," said Blink.
Military Veterans Museum leaders say the event brings history face-to-face with those who lived it.
"They can come to the museum anytime and see the trucks, but to see the people behind the vehicles, and to hear the story behind that is what's really important, continuing the story," said Dave Kersztyn, Military Veterans Museum Vice President.
National Vietnam War Veterans Day was established five years ago.
The Military Veterans Museum in Oshkosh operates as a non-profit organization, and is open Friday through Sunday.