VA commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War


Our nation’s Vietnam War commemoration is a long-overdue opportunity for all Americans to recognize, honor, and thank our Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifices during one of America’s longest wars.

VA Central Office, along with nearly 9,000 organizations across the country, has joined with the Department of Defense as a commemorative partner to honor our Nation’s Vietnam Veterans.  I have designated March 29, 2016, as a day for our department to express our tremendous gratitude and support to this generation of Americans through ceremonies across the nation.

This commemoration recognizes all men and women who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during the U.S. involvement in Vietnam—November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975.  Nine million Americans, approximately 7.2 million living today, served during that period, and the commemoration makes no distinction between Veterans who served in-country, in-theater or were stationed elsewhere during those 20 years.  All answered the call of duty.

This commemoration has special significance for those of us at VA because of our honored mission to serve those who have “borne the battle.”  It’s also an opportunity to remember our VA colleagues who served in this generation of Veterans, to extend our heartfelt appreciation to them and to their families who shared the burden of their loved one’s service.

Please visit to learn how your organization or facility can become a commemorative partner.  This partnership provides historical media and beautifully-struck lapel pins and other recognition items for presentation to Vietnam Veterans.

VA’s Vantage Point has covered several events as part of the 50th anniversary commemoration, including those linked below



Bob McDonald


  1. Gary Barrows    

    Thank God for the VA and all of its administrators. You have been a life savior. Gary

  2. Stephen McPherson    

    Thank God for Vietnam vets I was 16 during the war in 1971 a little too young to enter. Suppose my single mom would have fought to keep me out my younger brother was 15. Thank God for all my cousins that served they were 18-20 years of age. I now see them around and all returned safely from SouthEast Asia. I remember a young girl in 1969 that did lose a brother she is now 61 and I am 62.

  3. Peedee Wyre    

    I’ve been a NorCal VA healthcare and Oncology patient since 2009: fabulous people, respectfully delivering top-notch care and services. Many staff and providers are Veterans themselves, further enhancing the experience of understanding and comradeship, being part of a big family. My buddies from AIT and Vietnam, who live all around the U.S., also are pleased with their local VA facilities. Keep it up! And thank you.

  4. Cheryl Pugh    

    I hope the VA is doing some nationwide searches for Veterans they should be recognizing during this 50th Anniversary. There are veterans that should have received certain awards during wartime that did not due to an oversight. Now is the time for researchers to get that information and right the wrong.

  5. Bryan Bonham    

    Still waiting for the VA to authorize an MRI and get me into a pain management program to help me safely get off the pain meds I have been on for years. Discouraging.

  6. Arlene Fulton    

    My husband re-enlisted in 1964/65 in the Gulf of Tonkin. He was aboard the USS Blueback 581. This was a spy sub and I can not find any records as to being in the Bay. It was top secret “spy” ship. Can someone help me?

  7. Herbert L Widener    

    I am about to pass out from what I read about the Vietnam War commemoration and the fact they are honoring all Vietnam War Veterans, in and out of country. I served from 1971-1978, four years of my service was during the war. I came down on orders as did my whole AIT company for Vietnam, they held me back and I stayed there for two weeks. just me, why just me, I don’t know I had just turned 17 when I went in. could have been my age, immature. for two weeks I reported in they told me I was going to Germany, nope! they canceled that. went back and your going to Vietnam, nope! canceled. they finally sent me to FT Sill, one year there and turned 18 I was sent to the DMZ Korea 2nd ID, at that time the DMZ was still a combat zone and I was awarded the AFEM, was there from 73-74. 2nd ID was called on alert and we were to get ready to deploy to Vietnam to help pull every one out, bags packed and ready to go. nope they told us to stand down. not sure why but did know North Korea had shoot one of our air crafts and some small arms fire. Left Korea in May 1974 for FT Bragg NC, HHC 46th Support Group Coscom. Supported 82nd Airborne and Special Forces. where ever they went we went, after Saigon fail and our folks were pulling out so did a few thousand Vietnam Refugees, we were deployed to resettle the Refugees at Ft Chaffee Arkansas and Ft Indian-town Gap PA, deployed for 9 months. I became very sick and lost from 160 lb to 90 lb. they didn’t know what was wrong so the sent me back to Ft Bragg and after about a month and a few test they found I had picked up a parasite from the Vietnamese, I thought I was going to die before they found what it was. Ok that all said I never had boots on ground in Vietnam but in my mind I am a Vietnam Veteran. and felt like I should have been recognized as that. but nobody has ever gave us who served in other country’s and supported the ones on ground or deployed on missions pertaining to Vietnam a home, we were forgotten, even when we returned home from other country’s and landed in the US we also were called baby killers, murders, we have no welcome home or medals, or can march in parades with the Vietnam Veterans, I have been told many times and on many Vietnam web sites we did not have boots on ground and were not welcome on there site or group. They call us Vietnam ERA veterans and they even hate that, and have said if you didn’t have boots on ground you were not a Vietnam Veteran and they hate the name Vietnam ERA Veteran. even if we are not wanted have no home have no Vietnam Veteran hat or medal or a place to march in a parade. we volunteered to go to Nam and we served where they sent us and if you don’t think the places we had to serve was dangerous, then you go spend a few night on the DMZ in a bunker powered by a generator with a diesel stove to heat C rations and stay warm, and you be the bump in the road when or if North Korea comes across the line. you sit there watch your enemy provoke you and listen to propaganda day and night. and if your real lucky you might get to go down for a hot meal and a shower. On March 29, 2016 we will see if we are recognized and given a home and a place to stand. I’m still proud of my service and would and will do it again if called to do so, just in my blood.

  8. Timothy Dove    

    I think this recognition is long overdue and perhaps that public opinion of Vietnam vets may be improving for us.

  9. Leon Suchorski    

    So isn’t this actually the 60th anniversary of the Vietnam War, since our troops started going over there in 1955?

    1. r c chisolm    

      I couldn’t care less about the “public opinion” of us or me,,

  10. Solar Bear    

    In the article “VA commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War” I suggest changing “in-county” to “in-country” in the third paragraph.

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