As Airline Baggage Policies Change After Troop Luggage Controversy, One Vietnam Vet Reflects | Arts & Culture
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Several airlines have now changed their active duty luggage policy after a YouTube video of two disgruntled soldiers went viral.
The video shows the duo visibly upset with Delta for charging them $200 for an extra bag.
The clip has one local Vietnam Veteran reflecting on his long trip home in 1966.
"I was proud, I was a second leuitenant," said Reid Oxley.
He was just 22 years old when he was shipped out to Vietnam in 1965. After a 13 month deployment, he says they were on their own to get home.
"We bought out own ticket, with our own money and we were put on stand by. So we just had to sleep there until a flight became available," he said.
When he finally landed on US soil, Oxley says he had to change out of uniform because the anti-war sentiment was so strong.
"As veterans coming home we were held accountable for even serving over there," he said.
Oxley left the Army shortly after returning home, but says watching the YouTube video of the Afghanistan veterans struck a chord.
"It just brought back old memories of my circumstances, coming home, and how it was 45 years ago," said Oxley.
The difference he says, is that people now are more aware of what's going on
"You can just pop something on YouTube and the whole nation, world knows about it," he said.
And many people connected to what the troops were saying.
"Coincidental they were coming home to Ft. Polk where I came home to," he said.
Oxley says the airlines did the right thing by the troops in changing their baggage policy. He only wishes he could've publicized the Vietnam Nam veteran's circumstances in 1966.
"If I coulda done that, I woulda done that. I didn't have a cell phone to put it one YouTube," he said.
Though he didn't have a cell phone, Oxley did write to his Congressman about that flight.
And while he was thanked profusely for his service, he never was reimbursed that $150.