BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Two Vietnam veterans share a different kind of special bond on this Veteran’s Day. The U.S. Postal Service awarded John Light, a Vietnam veteran and longtime Buffalo letter carrier, with the Frank E. Cius award.
“There are so many guys who did the same thing I did but to be honored like this is a great thing,” said Light with his wife of 46 years by his side.
“It’s emotional it’s so from the heart from these people, its unbelievable,” said Mary Light.
His wife Mary, who is a longtime Veterans Administration employee, knows exactly what her husband and thousands of others went through in Vietnam.
John Light remembers the tough weather conditions.”It was unbearable at times heat very hot 130 degrees.”
Light missed his family and lost many friends in the late 1960s when he served. He was also injured by a grenade.
“I lost a real good friend I went to school with we went in together he passed away over there,” said Light.
There weren’t any welcome home ceremonies like the one held Monday on William street.
“We weren’t treated to well over there but we did our job the best we could,” said Light.
The award was named in honor of a Vietnam veteran who spent years as a prisoner of war.
Frank Cius was only 19 when his helicopter was shot down. He was captured by the North Vietnamese. Cius was at the ceremony and shared his story with News 4.
“I was taken to North Vietnam and spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war there three of the years was in solitary confinement,” said Cius.
“I did a lot of praying and had to concentrate on my family to help me get through that tough time.”
The Postal Service is one of the largest civilian employers of veterans. One in five postal employees has served or is currently serving in the military.