VA to commemorate 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War


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VA announced it will conduct hundreds of events at VA facilities across the nation on March 29 to recognize, honor and thank U.S. Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifices as part of the national Vietnam War Commemoration.

VA Secretary Robert McDonald will host a wreath-laying ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial – “The Wall” to initiate VA’s contribution to the Commemoration. He will be joined by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

“We are proud to partner with the Department of Defense in this endeavor. Secretary Carter’s Vietnam War Commemoration staff has greatly assisted us in planning this humble tribute to our Vietnam Veterans and their families.”

VA, along with more than 9,000 organizations across the country, has joined with the Department of Defense as a Commemorative Partner to help Americans honor our nation’s Vietnam Veterans.

Authorized by Congress, established under the Secretary of Defense, and launched by the President in May 2012, the Vietnam War Commemoration recognizes all men and women who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces from Nov 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975. Nine million Americans, approximately 7 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,” said McDonald. “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.”

More than 329 VA medical centers, regional benefit offices and national cemeteries will host events, many in partnership with local Veteran service organizations and volunteers.

By presidential proclamation issued on May 25, 2012, the Commemoration extends from its inaugural event on Memorial Day 2012 through Veterans Day 2025.

Commemorative Partners – local, state and national organizations, businesses, corporations and governmental agencies – have committed to publicly thank and honor Vietnam Veterans and their families on behalf of the nation and have pledged to host a minimum of two events annually.

To learn more about the Vietnam War Commemoration, go to: www.vietnamwar50th.com

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The Office of Media Relations serves as the interface with news media representatives from newspapers and electronic media for the Department. OMR arranges interviews, provides press releases and answers media queries.

Comments

  1. Eugene Pace    

    It is somewhat gratifying to hear that Vietnam Vets are going to be commemorated. It is better late than never. Thank you all for making it happen. It is unfortunate that too many of my fellow survivors have died before this acknowledgement. The unfortunate truth is that the VA is simply waiting for us to die before paying claims and answering appeals. I’ve been waiting to be heard on appeal for over four years. I’ve been told, more than once, the only way to get an expedited decision is to have a terminal diagnosis. After more than 4 years; “expedited” is a moot point.

    1. Greg    

      I agree, when will this madness end.@greddd11#vetlivesmatter.

  2. James Doyle Bunton    

    was in the war in Viet Nam. Now on Dialysis from effects from Agent Orange. Pray for all our fellow soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I praise my God for letting me live this long and Thank HIM for our country of the Land of Liberty. May He continue to bless us. God bless America.

  3. Cee Bee    

    50 yr Anniversary?
    I was in country fighting in the early 60’s . That close to 53, 54 years ago!

      1. savaja3@yahoo.com    

        50 years since the last troop withdrawal.. I believe is what they meant, USN 62-68 RVN tour 1964 I believe that was 53 years ago… so I agree Cee Bee…

  4. Susan C. Sarello    

    An important day to remember in these troubled time. Let us extend our celebration to our friends from Vietnam, with whom we are at peace now. God bless every human who lost a loved one in this page of our history.

    1. Frank Murphy    

      Actually the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal Ribbon has shows “1960 – “

  5. James T Andross    

    Was in the Tonkin Gulf aboard the USS Nitro (AE-23) in 72-73 (I think?) My memory and recall get foggy sometimes now for a 67 year old Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class (E-5)…

    What I DO REMEMBER is the only cited near nuclear accident of the war when my ship was in a collision with USS Oriskany, an Aircraft Carrier. It happened one early morning while preparing to conduct an “UNREP” (ie: Underway Replenishment of ammo, bombs, and things that “GO BOOM…” )

    Generally speaking, I am greatly and gratefully moved by the honor and courteousness which is being shown through our younger generations today.

    Americans and American Values have grown through the strife.

    May God continue to show us a better way.

    Jandya51

    1. Bruce Anglin    

      Yes, I served on the Oriskany when that happened. Somewhere I have photos that show the damage to the Oriskany, we had only heard that the collision had pretty much disabled the Nitro but that was only what we heard, never got the full story. But the pictures I have are telling. We had also heard we were carrying a nuke. Scary had the bombs being transported between the 2 ships exploded. I believe the Navy recalled the XO who may have been the one who made the mistake at the time but Capt. John Barrow on the Oriskany remained a long time afterwards at least until I left the Navy late in 1973.

      I also believe that anyone who served earning “combat duty” pay for the Vietnam “campaign” should be provided FULL health care, the same as is provided to members of Congress, bypassing the limited and often insufficient VA medical system. Other non combat veterans would still have the VA system.

  6. Bruce Figureid    

    I was Station in Thailand in Udorn during 1972 to 1973 in the Air Force working on the Air craft weapons. Having to lift heavy equipment with out machines because by hand was faster has ruin my back with 4 spine surgeries I barley can walk now dealing with pain for near 20 years and they still refused to make me 100% or Unemployable. I have had Appeals in for over 6 years . Tell me they care about us Nam Vets.

  7. Michael Kerry Bard    

    We called the skirmish in Korea the forgotten war however does anybody who may have had known that the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam skirmish lasted so many years and killed so many Americans that we didn’t even hear about this anniversary ceremony occurring. Oh well, we didn’t want to remember it anyway because so many people got shot here in the 60’s and it just ended with a big bang with so many lies that it was to end sooner than it started since the greatest liar of all of us flew home on his helicopter to turn it off his television to sit in his quietness and just sit and think what had all gone wrong.

  8. Pinckney Griffin V    

    My father, Pinckney Griffin passed away in September of 2014. He always said he was in the Vietnam War. I haven’t had any luck in getting information on his service. My sister submitted a info request and the response was there was no record of him.

    I have pictures of him in uniform and his wings. I was even able to track down an old army buddy of his… he told me my father did go to Vietnam but he never saw him again after that.

    I wish someone could help point me in another direction to find his records.

    1. joe caracappa    

      Go to the DAV REP near you, bring all the info you have on him, ssn,service number of him and even his ss card or number to track down when he was during those yrs. Any other info may need please feel fre to contact me ASAP, maybe I can run things down for you if nobody else does, god bless on this issue……….

      1. William E. Arnett    

        GET YOUR FATHER’S PAY RECORDS. I fought VA for years until I got my pay records which, of course, the military kept very, very excellently (wouldn’t want to over pay you guys by a nickel).

        LOOK FOR: his pay records all pay sheets showing the TAX EXCEPTION for any veteran in a war zone. They also carefully ordocumented all “per diem” sheets every veteran in ‘Nam had to fill out to obtain their per diem and/or their “Hazardous Duty Pay,” the politically correct version.

        Also, I was blown away when my VA Rep told me every military base had to have EVERYONES presence noted and/or ACCOUNTED FOR.

        As a result, these actions were just the ticket to prove I was there, but now as a 100% disabled permanently
        veteran VA was of little service when I was fighting multiple myeloma the first time, but the last two times cancer hit me again I would not have survived.

        All I’m telling you is to get those pay record and/or proof he had anyone of the thirteen cancers known to be caused by Agent Orange. AND NEVER GIVE UP AND STAY STRONG!

  9. Leonard Boyd, Jr.    

    I missed the local celebration yesterday… 🙁

  10. Ronald Crisp    

    Pinckney Griffin: When we were mustered out of the army at Ft Lewis, Washington, we were all told to file our DD 214s with our local records keepers (some were court houses and others were Hall of Records), so that we could always request a certified copy of our DD 214s in the future. Have you checked with the county recorder where your dad lived at the time of his discharge to see if he followed through on recording his DD 214? Also, I believe that the national archives for military records is in St. Louis. but I heard that they had a fire quite some time ago that destroyed some of the Vietnam era records. I hope this is helpful to you. Good luck!

  11. Ralph Cairl    

    Was in Nam in 1969…was medi-evaced the day we landed on the moon… Why did it take 50 years to recognize the sacrifice that untold thousands made? Many of us had to endure a lot of mental and physical problems because of being there. The VA still doesn’t recognize the scope of the problem that just agent orange caused and probably won’t in any of our lifetimes… But to help current vets makes it worth it. We should be treating them like kings and paying for everything rather than giving those who aren’t even citizens medical benefits….that is a disgrace.

    1. john h davis    

      was there in 1965, what a mess, no one took responsibility for anything, just a bunch of drunk officers hiding in their hootches.

  12. Dr. Ethelle Lord    

    My husband, Major Larry S. Potter, USAF Ret., was in Vietnam. He retired in 1985 and is now living with vascular dementia. It was possible for me to research and work hard at putting his dementia in remission just last month, March. I hope VA families who have loved ones living with dementia join the ICA (free membership) today and get informed.

  13. Morrison W    

    American governance is literally dying for leadership and for a return to greatness. By extension, corporate America is reflective of our country’s mediocrity in the world and also needs a major leadership reset. The good news is that the younger generation is starting to show some signs that there is hope for a better tomorrow, and for a restoration of an American way of life that was once the envy of the world. To everyone who commented here and/or served the country in foreign conflicts like Vietnam, just know in your heart that you are appreciated by your fellow Americans – real American’s who care. You have not been forgotten today, and you will not be forgotten when you are gone. Hold your head high, be a leader in your own family and in your community, and let’s all work hard to get America back on the road to recovery. Who is with me? God Bless America!

    1. DannyG    

      Hey Brother, Americans have been best down before, & we never gave up! God bless America! God bless the American people, & may God bless the American “leadership”.

  14. Richard T Braley    

    I was in Chu Lai from 1969 to 1970, two tours of duty. Gave my family hell for a long time but have a great wife who stayed, coped, and overcame. Finally, professional help came into my life from the VA Hospital in Oklahoma City. I am much better off today because of the VA. Haven’t forgotten a doggone thing. But I have discovered how I decide to interpret that history, and what I do about my interpretations, can (and did) change.

    I hope all vets find the hope and comfort I found.

  15. john h davis    

    now if I could just get a new cpap machine from them last one is 7 years old and they want me to drive it 5 hours and let some one see if it can be fixed? at 70 that drive is too long for me. guess forest lawn is shorter.

  16. C.V. Compton Shaw    

    The following quote from William Shakepeare’s play, Henry V, is my tribute to American and Allied veterans of the War in Vietnam:
    Henry V Saint Crispin’s day speech at the Battle of Agincourt (from William Shakespeare’s play):
    “And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remembered-
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition:
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”

    I served with the U.S.Army; 4th I.D.; 2/8th Inf.; RVN 1969-1970

    1. Guy Rich    

      Well said brother Guy Rich USMC RVN Jun 66 – Dec 67

  17. ***********    

    I served aboard the USS Constellation from August 1964 with VA-74 Roadrunners until my discharge in April 1965 after our return to Lemoore CA.I was fortunate enough to be away from the in-country fighting, but proud to have served our country. Our squadron had a pilot shot down on the first Gulf of Tonkin raids, if my memory serves me, on August 4th 1964. Fortunately he survived the “Hanoi Hilton” and was the second POW off the aircraft when they returned to the good old USA. His name was Lt. Alvarez.

  18. Ken    

    It’s easier to mass produce a pin than to provide the medical care that’s needed.

  19. ronald joseph curcio    

    To read some of these comments makes me think of continuing issues in trying to apply and receive the disability coming to us. The kids today can say PTSD and be put on a platter handed anything they want including 100%disability for witnessing a friend get killed. Is that not war and what they are expected to do for our country? Have a Grandson who saw his best friend killed after in country just 2 months while he was a front line medic (volunteer}. I have been trying to increase my disability as I served 2 years in Vietnam and have Diabetes, foot nerve problems and an unknown upper body skin disease and now can hardly walk due to feet issues. 8 years ago I was told when trying to up disability was told that is what you get and do not try again. Well 8 years later I am trying again and been scheduled to see a contract Dr. not even VA. All I can say is guys and gals just stay strong and keep trying.

  20. Sean    

    It was nice that they have a celebration on March 24 and 29th but the email didn’t get to me until April 1. I would have like to participate.

  21. Lorenzo Gonzalez    

    Vietnam Veterans Day hosted by American Legion post 194 Mar 29, 2016, Anna, TX
    8:25 –National Anthem, raise United States Flag, Flyover Service Air Corps
    8:27 –Chaplains invocation
    8:28 –Commander Welcome Comments, today we celebrate, Honor and thank Vietnam Veterans and we Commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, April 30, 1975- At 8:35 a.m., the last Americans, ten Marines from the embassy, departed Saigon, concluding the United States presence in Vietnam. The War is over!
    I would like to welcome our Honorees, our guest speaker Congressman Sam Johnson, Service Air Corps-T-37 Aircraft Flyover, City Officials, Chamber of Commerce, Business Leaders, Anna High School Band, Boy Scouts troop 293, their Color Guard and troop 294, Anna Police Dept, Anna Fire Dept, all Veterans present, our families, friends and everyone here today.
    8:29– Speaker, Congressman Sam Johnson 3rd district, a Retired United States Air- Force Colonel, he is a combat Veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam Wars, with a distinguished Military Career.
    8:35– Fire Dept Ring bell 3 times
    –Chaplains– Benediction
    –Fire Dept– Ring Bell 21 times
    –Commander– Final Comments
    –Governor State of Texas Proclamation –City of Anna Mayor-Council Proclamation
    –Thank you all for attending and Welcoming Home Vietnam Veterans!

  22. Ken Kirchner    

    Sir:

    Where can we get a 50th Commemerative pin & patch ?

    NhaTrang AFB—-Phan Rang AFB—–Korat RTAFB—-NKP-RTAFB served.

    Respectfully,

    Ken Kirchner
    Catholic War VeteransPost 1959
    Willoughby, Ohio 44094

    1. Greg Pierce    

      YoU could try the website listed. I don’t think there are any patches, just pins.
      Good luck, when I questioned them about the lack of publicity they passed the buck.

  23. Bruce Anglin    

    In my opinion ALL of those who earned “Combat Pay” during the Vietnam war, since the numbers still living is becoming such a small number, SHOULD be provided the same health care benefits that every member of Congress now has. It is ONLY fair! In my opinion, we hear a lot of speeches and comments from our “leaders” yet NOBODY in Congress has the balls to propose such legislation. This would be benefits beyond whatever the VA may or may not be offering. It is a national disgrace how these veterans are treated. It is still not fixed! Shame on our Congressional representatives.

  24. Ken Pepper    

    In country 67-68 I was a crewchief on O-1 Birdogs assigned to 219th Headhunters Camp Holloway Pleiku. To all my brothers welcome Home

  25. Greg Pierce    

    Unfortunately this event was not publicized in Brevard County Florida, a press release was printed the day of the event. I questioned the committee at the above listed website. Their response was that it was up to the sponsors to publicize the event. Seems the VA could have sent out emails or texts. I was at a VA clinic the week before not a single poster displayed.
    It should be noted that this was for Vietnam “era” veterans, not Vietnam combat veterans.

  26. Guillermo Frausto    

    It’s been 52 years since my wing (355th TFW) was deployed to Viet Nam, Why the delay? Oh yea it’s only Viet Nam!
    I can’t prove my back problems are service connected because they’ve lost my medical records.

  27. Troy Thomas Heikkala    

    How shallow this commeration is when it doesn’t account for the lies that got us into this “sacrifice.” Our gumment refuses to give us vets an apology or just compensation to the Vietnamese for the American War on Vietnam. Instead this sounds like ther was something honorable about it all. Oh Please…..

  28. John conley    

    This is news to me about an event for Vietnam era veterans today is April 1, 2016 it’s the first I’m hearing about this I served in Vietnam from 1968 to 69

  29. Barry L. Mead    

    Not one damn thing was done on Guam except two resolutions that were attended by a few Island Senators 3 vets 2 Viet Nam, and the Lt. gov. big Deal!

  30. Guy Rich    

    It’s a LOT of Male Bovine Fecal Matter !!!!
    IF the VA REALLY wanted to honor Viet Nam Veterans and “Thank us for our Service” Grant all of us our appeals and
    give the 100% Service connected disability ratings we deserve!

  31. Samuel Martin    

    I’m here in Temple TX , I had appointment doing our event. Again nothing unfortunately I missed out again

  32. Peter clough    

    I was in Vietnam 67-69 as an advisor for the ninth ARVN Division. We did numerous patrols in the U Minh forest along with the drops of agent orange, and have been fighting cancer for over three years because of it. It is pretty sad when they say contact your local VA, VFW or American legion to receive your pin and none of them know what your talking about. I happen to see it on face book it is pretty sad when they forgot us when we came back and now when they want to recognize us. I’am sure that between 80 and 90% of Vietnam vets know nothing about it. Way to go again VA for letting people know. I’am sure it was great photo op for the big wigs. Sad sad sad

  33. Fred Mitchell    

    Its past time, Vietnams gets some pay back.It had to be hell, them coming back to states,an treated like, they was never in a war,Fighting an emeny, who come out of holes,,,no unifroms.That had to be , too much.Stress will finaly take over.As an vet,I have respect for them , an all Vets.

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