I had the privilege recently of seeing Cpl. Rick Ketterling presented with the Purple Heart. The actions that earned Ketterling this honor took place almost four decades ago, but due to an oversight, he is just now getting this recognition.

There was a great lesson to be learned at this presentation. War isn't something a soldier forgets. Ever. Ketterling's eyes welled up with tears as U.S. Sen. Steve Daines recounted that day's events. Ketterling had survived an explosion and helped save the life of a fellow soldier. The third soldier died at the scene.

When Ketterling accepted his medal and was asked to say a few words, he graciously thanked everyone and said, "I'd do it again in a heartbeat."

I have a special respect for veterans because I was raised by a career Marine and Vietnam vet. On my dad's return home from his third tour in Vietnam, he flew into San Francisco. The first words spoken to him by a civilian in the airport were: "I should spit on you!"

I won't type his reply here because it would perhaps be inappropriate for some, but I will say that she most definitely did not follow through with her threat.

It disgusts me to think that this is the kind of treatment many Vietnam vets experienced. Seeing Ketterling's ceremony and what it meant to him was a good reminder of why we should still care about and show respect to our veterans regardless of how many years it has been since they served.