Off the Couch: Vietnam veterans are finally welcomed home

Joe Galloway was a war correspondent for many years, including during the Vietnam War. He will be a guest speaker during the three-day jubilee to honor Vietnam veterans Monday through Wednesday.
photo Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, I couldn't help but notice your turtle neck this morning.

LISA DENTON: Maybe I should look into surgery. How do you treat a turtle neck? Slowly, I guess.

BARRY: We're here all week, folks.

LISA: Actually, that's the second time this week someone has commented on my turtle neck, and I'm beginning to think you and our web guy, Ellis Smith, aren't referring to the one-word pullover top.

BARRY: He was, but your response was classic. Very Minnie Pearl-esque of you.

LISA: That's high praise. And Ellis wasn't really making fun of me when he told me to clip the mic on my turtle neck (turtleneck?), but it sure sounded like an insult when it came out of his mouth.

BARRY: So sensitive.

Seriously, this is a big week for Vietnam veterans. We as a country are finally starting to recognize the soldiers who fought during that remarkably horrible decade in our history, and there is a three-day jubilee planned to honor them and to welcome them home. It starts tonight with a supper, musical tribute and some speeches at First Tennessee Pavilion and ends on Wednesday with a ceremony honoring the fallen soldiers from our area at the Chattanooga National Cemetery.

LISA: Not to get too high on my soapbox, but it's shameful how Vietnam vets were treated, all in service to our country. Anything we can do now to show our appreciation is long overdue.

BARRY: These home comings have been happening around the country for a couple of years and will continue to 2025. The time period represents the 10-year length of the war from 1965 to 1975.

LISA: Also this week we have the Tallis Scholars coming to St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Tuesday. They've been called the Rolling Stones of Renaissance music, and some of their music was featured in "Fifty Shades of Grey," so they must be a hot ticket.

BARRY: If you are into drums, the Shaking Ray Levi Society is hosting a Permanent Record Drum Night on Thursday featuring Joshua Green with Carl Cadwell, Matt Skudlarek and Weave: A Conceptual Dance Company. It will take place at Wayne-O-Rama.

Green has created a new project utilizing drumsets, percussion items, found items and drum loops to create a new piece every day for a year. The tracks are available for free for three days, and they are archived on the Permanent Record website at

LISA: And "The Price Is Right Live" has sold out the Tivoli Theatre, which means don't come on down.

I totally stole that line from our co-worker Susan Pierce. She can get her own column.

BARRY: How hard could it be, right?

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.