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Vietnam veteran active in local groups since ’86

March 30, 2014 • Local News

Santiago Vasquez of Roswell displays one of the two Bronze Medals he won during his service in the Vietnam War. Today, Vasquez is very active with the American Legion and an advocate for veterans groups. (Randal Seyler Photo)

Vietnam War veteran Santiago Vasquez is active in numerous veterans organizations today, but that wasn’t always the case.

“It wasn’t until the movie ‘Platoon’ came out that I started getting active,” says Vasquez.

While a student at Eastern New Mexico University in 1968, the Roswell native was drafted to go fight in Southeast Asia at the age of 20.

“When the movie ‘Platoon’ came out, people’s attitudes toward Vietnam and veterans began to change,” Vasquez said. “That was when I decided I wanted to become more involved with veterans organizations. Before that, I mainly just wanted to forget.”

Vasquez, 65, is now active with the American Legion, serving last year as post commander and last year, he received the state Recruiter of the Year award for being top American Legion recruiter from the state commander.

Veterans from around the area were at the Roswell American Legion post on Saturday observing Vietnam Veterans Day.

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