ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Vietnam veterans are getting some long-delayed appreciation in Maryland.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan signed a bill Monday making March 30 “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.”

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The bill was introduced by Democratic senator and Vietnam veteran John Astle of Anne Arundel County. Del. C.T. Wilson sponsored a similar bill in the House. It passed both houses of the General Assembly as an emergency bill this session.

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Supporters call it long-overdue recognition for those who served in the war in Southeast Asia in the 1960s and `70s. The war was unpopular at home, and many returning veterans felt shunned by their countrymen.

Retired Army Col. Bert Rice of Odenton served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He says the measure makes important recognition of the contributions soldiers made in Vietnam.

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