Widow of Vietnam Veteran reflects on late husband's experience a - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Widow of Vietnam Veteran reflects on late husband's experience after the war

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)
WACO, TX (KXXV) -

It's not unusual to see veterans and active service members at Shirley Sims' home twice a year. She hosts two gatherings a year to honor those who have served through an annual luncheon.

She and her late husband, Louis Sims Sr., started the gatherings. Since he died of cancer in 2015, she continues the tradition.

"I support the veterans, wholeheartedly. I'm here for them," Shirley Sims said.

Louis Sims Sr. joined the Marine Corps after graduating high school.

"He said it'll make you a man," Shirley Sims said.

He served in the Vietnam War.

"Being out there in the field, you know. When you're on the battlefield, they dug these holes where they can hide. And they're down in the ground and just an inch you raise your head. That's it. Just an inch," Shirley Sims said. "They couldn't smoke a cigarette or anything because you smoke a cigarette they see the fire and they know where you are."

Sims served for four years. After his time in the service, he received a Purple Heart, among several other awards. Returning home after the war, however, was another battle. 

"How they spit on them and instead of giving them thanks and hugging them when they came back, they didn't. And my husband just shook his head and said ain't nobody care but God," Shirley Sims recalled.

Sims and thousands of other veterans experienced those feelings returning home.

"It's hard transitioning from any war and Vietnam vets return to situations where there is no support and there is no smooth transition," Stephen Sloan, Associate Professor of History at Baylor University, said. 

Sloan said there are many factors why the transition was so difficult.

"One the outcome of the conflict, the objective, the nature of the war itself, that it's a guerrilla war rather than a traditional war," Sloan said.

"He just felt like they forgot about him, put him on the back burner because of things that happened," Shirley Sims said.

Shirley recalls her husband getting flashbacks from the war.

"His mind was traumatized. So he would sit in here and watch TV and sometimes he would flinch because he felt like it was the enemy sneaking up on him," Shirley Sims said.

Shirley stuck by his side until he lost his battle to cancer in 2015. Shirley said his bone cancer was caused by Agent Orange, a powerful herbicide, used during the Vietnam War.

Copyright 2018 KXXV. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Inspector warned duck boat company of design flaws last year

    Inspector warned duck boat company of design flaws last year

    Saturday, July 21 2018 6:13 PM EDT2018-07-21 22:13:06 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 2:40 PM EDT2018-07-22 18:40:13 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People view a row of idled duck boats in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks Saturday, July 21, 2018 in Branson, Mo. One of the company's duck boats capsized Thursday night resulting in several deaths on Table Rock Lake.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People view a row of idled duck boats in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks Saturday, July 21, 2018 in Branson, Mo. One of the company's duck boats capsized Thursday night resulting in several deaths on Table Rock Lake.

    Since 1999, duck boats have been linked to the deaths of more than 40 people, with a troubled safety record on the road and water alike.

    More >>

    Since 1999, duck boats have been linked to the deaths of more than 40 people, with a troubled safety record on the road and water alike.

    More >>
  • Gunman in LA supermarket standoff arrested for murder

    Gunman in LA supermarket standoff arrested for murder

    Sunday, July 22 2018 8:49 AM EDT2018-07-22 12:49:27 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 2:39 PM EDT2018-07-22 18:39:47 GMT
    (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes). Los Angeles Police SWAT officers escort a group of people who were held for their safety by police across businesses surrounding a Trader Joe's supermarket, after a gunman held dozens of people hostage inside the store bef...(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes). Los Angeles Police SWAT officers escort a group of people who were held for their safety by police across businesses surrounding a Trader Joe's supermarket, after a gunman held dozens of people hostage inside the store bef...

    Police say they're trying to determine what prompted a man to shoot his grandmother and then run into a busy Los Angeles supermarket and hold dozens of people hostage for hours.

    More >>

    Police say they're trying to determine what prompted a man to shoot his grandmother and then run into a busy Los Angeles supermarket and hold dozens of people hostage for hours.

    More >>
  • Survivor recounts boat accident that killed 9 family members

    Survivor recounts boat accident that killed 9 family members

    Saturday, July 21 2018 12:18 AM EDT2018-07-21 04:18:54 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 2:36 PM EDT2018-07-22 18:36:59 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

    More >>

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly