U.S. honors Veterans on first official National Vietnam War Veterans Day


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Camp Nelson Vietnam Veterans Wreath

A wreath honoring National Vietnam War Veterans Day is placed next to the flagpole at Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Kentucky.

On March 29, 1973, the last American combat troops left Vietnam and returned home. Unlike troops of more recent wars, the vast majority of those brave service members did not receive a warm welcome. In fact many were spat upon, called names and treated with disdain.

Vietnam Veterans bore the horrors of battle in Vietnam only to come home to shoulder the burden of an unpopular war that was no fault of their own. The way they were treated has often been called a national disgrace and rightly so. They did their duty because their country asked them to. That’s what patriots do, they serve when their nation calls.

Today, 44 years later, they are getting some of the recognition they earned so long ago.

Last night, the president signed the “Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017” into law designating March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

The law amends title 4 of the U.S. Code “to encourage the display of the flag of the United States on National Vietnam War Veterans Day” – the simple language creates both the day and encourages the flag to be flown in their honor each year.

Finally.

The bipartisan legislation, co-authored by Indiana  Sen. Joe Donnelly and Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, is the first federal statute to both recognize Vietnam Veterans and create an annual recognition. The legislation passed in the House March 21 and in the Senate Feb. 3.

Today, VA recognized March 29 with wreath-laying ceremonies at national cemeteries and other facilities across the country.

Read the full text of the bill on Congress.gov.

Author

Gary Hicks

  is a public affairs specialist and serves as the senior writer in the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. He is a former managing editor of a daily newspaper and served in both the Army and Air Force prior to joining VA in 2006. Gary’s wife is an Air Force Senior NCO stationed at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

Comments

  1. Margaret Pyles    

    I humbly remember the Vietnam War well. Thank you to our veterans for serving under our country. It had to be the most confusing war ever. I have viewed movies first hand made by you soldiers. My heart goes out to all of you who lived and died in a war that could not be won. I’m so sorry for the way you soldiers were treated coming home. God bless you everyone . Amen.
    Margaret

    1. Richard J Macchia    

      Gary Hicks cannot even bear to state that President Trump signed the bill into law. He just mentions “the president.” Had Obama signed the law , Hicks would have surely stated President Barack H Obama.

      1. Greg Pierce    

        Signed into law by President George W Bush, 2008.
        All #45 did was Make Mar 29th the official day.

  2. Albert Rommers    

    Thank you Mr. President.

  3. Shirley McGee    

    I did not hear any mention of this on the national news.

    So happy those who served received recognition!

  4. Ronald Cibolski    

    I was not even aware of a Vietnam Veteran’s Day being designated. I am a disabled Vietnam Vet and reasonably aware of the news. I was notified by a Tweet from President Trump on March 29, a little late to plan any special activities. Please, VA think about letting us know about such important events.

    1. bob wire    

      Vietnam vet USN 69-72 please VA think about about letting us know of such an event. . I will make note of it and will hoist the flag hence more

      1. Greg Pierce    

        I wrong the memorial commission last year about lack of publicity about events. The reply was publicity was up to the corporate sponsors.

        1. Greg Pierce    

          Supposed to read. “I wrote”

  5. Karl Garson    

    The Battle of Getlin’s Corner; March 30, 1967

    By Karl Garson, LT USNR, Vietnam

    March 30, 2017: Today is the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Getlin’s Corner during which my good friend and fellow Naval Aviator, Marine Captain Ralph Byron (Barney) Pappas, and 14 other Marines were killed. Barney flew for VMA-211. Barney was awarded the Navy Cross with, I believe, five stars, and, posthumously, the DFC.

    More information about Barney, Captain Micael Peter Getlin, Second Lt. John P. Bobo and Corporal John Leon Loweranitis appears below.

    KIA at Getlin’s Corner

    Headquarters &Security Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines
    Capt Ralph B. Pappas, Presidio, CA (Ground FAC)
    LCpl Roman R. Villamor, Warren, MI
    Pfc Donald W. Krick, Cleveland, OH

    I Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines
    Capt Michael P. Getlin, La Grange, IL, Company Commander (Navy Cross)
    2ndLt John P. Bobo, Niagara Falls, NY, Platoon Leader (Medal of Honor)
    Cpl John L. Loweranitis, Du Bois, PA (Navy Cross)
    Cpl Walter J. Nerad, Maple Heights, OH
    Cpl David A. Siemon, Springdale, PA
    LCpl James E. Blevins, Empire, OH
    LCpl Larry H. Crumbaker, Salem, OH
    Pfc Albert G. Anter, Central Falls, RI
    Pfc Ruben M. Armenta, Pico Rivera, CA
    Pfc Edward E. Cannon, Avon Park, FL
    Pfc Frank H. Thomas, Pompano Beach, FL
    Pfc Wallace Williams, New York, NY

    About Captain Ralph Byron (Barney) Pappas

    Captain Pappas befriended me while he was a pilot with VMA-211 at Chu Lai. He was always friendly and I appreciated his demeanor. He was a fine Marine and I think of him often. Sgt. John J.(Joe) Langheim

    Captain Pappas was the Forward Air Observer attached to India Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines on March 30, 1967. Our company had been split into three seperate units for the purpose of setting up night ambush positions. Captain Pappas was with our CP Group which also included the 2nd and 3rd Squads of the 2nd Platoon. The North Vietnamese Army (NVA) attacked our small unit on Hill 70 which became known as “Getlin’s Corner” in honor of our CO Michael Getlin also KIA. I remember Captain Pappas calmly attempting to call in air support for our greatly outnumbered Marines. Enemy mortars, heavy machine guns and grenades were all over us as Captain Pappas was mortally wounded. The Grunts had the utmost respect for our FAO because even though they were pilots, they were willing to spend months in the bush on the ground to provide us the very best air support possible. The Grunts of the “Flaming I” who survived Getlin’s Corner will always remember our Marine brother Captain Ralph Byron Pappas. Semper Fidelis Jack Riley, 2nd Squad Leader 2nd Platoon, India Company 3rd Bn. 9th Marines 1966 – 1967

    The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS posthumously to CAPTAIN RALPH B. PAPPAS UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS for service as set forth in the following CITATION For heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as a pilot and flight leader of a jet attack aircraft section attached to and serving with Marine Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED ELEVEN in the Republic of Vietnam on 26 January 1967. During a night air strike covering three downed helicopters, their crews and passengers, Captain Pappas, skillfully maneuvering his flight under flares in a target area, carried out daring bomb runs along the perimeter of the downed Marines in great danger of annihilation by an encircling communist force. Despite the ever-present threat of intense enemy automatic weapons fire and the hazardous flying conditions of extremely mountainous terrain in the immediate target area, Captain Pappas’ strike contributed materially toward maintaining inviolate the defensive perimeter of the beleaguered Marines, and to their successful extraction at the advent of daylight. By accuracy and courageous conduct in the face of grave personal risk, he reflected that selfless devotion to duty so in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. For the President, Paul R. Ignatius Secretary of the Navy

    About Captain Michael Peter Getlin

    The Navy Cross Citation:

    The Navy Cross is presented to Michael Peter Getlin, Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer, Company I, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 30 March 1967.

    The company was engaged in establishing platoon night ambush sites against communist insurgent forces in Quang Tri Province when all elements became engaged simultaneously, and the company’s command group and a small security element were attacked by a North Vietnamese reinforced company utilizing heavy automatic weapons fire and mortar barrages.

    Captain Getlin, despite multiple shrapnel and gunshot wounds, while under constant mortar and small-arms fire, remained on the exposed forward slope of the hill where he calmly called in artillery fire and directed helicopter strikes on the advancing enemy.

    When the attack built to the point of overrunning the Marine position, Captain Getlin moved to the most critical position and delivered devastating shotgun fire into the assaulting enemy. The barrel of his weapon split due to the rate of fire. With complete disregard for the danger involved, he reloaded and continued to fire, personally killing at least six enemy soldiers.

    Realizing that the position was not tenable, Captain Getlin directed his men to move to a better position while he covered their move. At this time three grenades fell within his immediate position. He threw one grenade back at the enemy and was mortally wounded attempting to retrieve the others.

    As a result of his professional ability, extraordinary courage, and stirring example, the Marines gained the new position and repulsed the enemy attack of over sixty North Vietnamese. Captain Getlin’s great personal valor reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

    About Second Lieutenant John P. Bobo
    The Congressional Medal of Honor Citation
    Second Lieutenant John P. Bobo
    United States Marine Corps
    For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Weapons Platoon Commander, Company I, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division, in Quang Tri Province, Republic of Viet Nam, on 30 March 1967.
    Company I was establishing night ambush sites when the command group was attacked by reinforced North Vietnamese company supported by heavy automatic weapons and mortar fire. Lieutenant Bobo immediately organized a hasty defense and moved from position to position encouraging the outnumbered Marines despite the murderous enemy fire. Recovering a rocket launcher from among the friendly casualties, he organized a new launcher team and directed its fire into the enemy machine gun position.
    When an exploding enemy mortar round severed Lieutenant Bobo’s right leg below the knee, he refused to be evacuated and insisted upon being placed in a firing position to cover the movement of the command group to a better location. With a web belt around his leg serving as a tourniquet and with his leg jammed into the dirt to curtail the bleeding, he remained in this position and delivered devastating fire into the ranks of the enemy attempting to overrun the Marines.
    Lieutenant Bobo was mortally wounded while firing his weapon into the main point of the enemy attack but his valiant spirit inspired his men to heroic efforts, and his tenacious stand enabled the command group to gain a protective position where it repulsed the enemy onslaught.
    Lieutenant Bobo’s superb leadership, dauntless courage, and initiative reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
    Lyndon B. Johnson
    President of the United States
    About Corporal John Leon Loweranitis
    Navy Cross Citation:
    The Navy Cross is presented to John Leon Loweranitis, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Company Messenger of Company I, Third Battalion, Ninth Marines, Third Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in the Republic of Vietnam on 30 March 1967.
    The company was engaged in establishing platoon night ambush sites against communist insurgent forces in the Quang Tri Province when the company command group and a small security element were attacked by a North Vietnamese reinforced company utilizing heavy automatic weapons and mortar fire.
    At the initiation of the action Corporal Loweranitis moved through intense fire to the 60-mm. mortar position, reorganized the crew and delivered effective fire on the machine gun positions that were raking the Marine positions. When the mortar ammunition was expended he again exposed himself to small-arms fire and grenades as he moved from position to position evacuating wounded to the reverse slope of the hill. When the North Vietnamese Army attempted to overrun the Marine positions, he moved to the most threatened point and personally accounted for five enemy kills.
    Although wounded by small-arms fire and grenade fragments on two separate occasions, he refused to leave his position and resolutely covered the withdrawal of the command group to a more tenable position until he fell, mortally wounded.
    His heroic action, with complete disregard for his own life, allowed the Marines to gain the new position and account for numerous enemy casualties. By his outstanding courage, exceptional fortitude and valiant fighting spirit, Corporal Loweranitis served to inspire all who observed him and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

  6. Harry Rudolph    

    President Trump has done a great thing here.
    I just wish the democrats and the media would leave him alone and let him do his job.

    1. Greg Pierce    

      Authorization signed into law by George W Bush
      First proclamation of Mar 29 was was by President Barack Obama in 2012

      NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 29, 2012, as Vietnam Veterans Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that commemorate the 50 year anniversary of the Vietnam War.

  7. Gary S. Oppenheim    

    As one who was actually “spat on & treated with disrespect and disdain” – I appreciate all these well wishers of today.

    I will also always remember those who never came home from ‘Nam – and the rest of us who never left..

  8. Ronald A Heth    

    Finally, the recognition we Vietnam Veterans deserve.
    Thank you to my fellow Vietnam Vets.

    1. Karl Garson    

      Thank you, Gary S, Oppenheim,

      Re: You first sentence, I’m sure you’ll understand when I say that in the late 1960’s, on emergency leave in full uniform, I got off a Pan Am flight at San Francisco International and had my view of the country I loved change forever. Since, I’ve found no reason to change my mind.

      Re: You second sentence, you’ve very wise.

    2. Van Norris    

      Amen…’thank you Mr. President for this recognition. To ALL Veterans and Military; thank you for keeping us safe. As we all should know…”Freedom is not Free.” Vietnam 68-69.

  9. Bob Behrens    

    EVERY day is Vietnam Day for a Nam veteran. To specify one day out of the year as a day to say ” Thanks”, minimizes our services. In my experiences, 95 % of the people that approach me to say ” Thanks for your service ” , are fellow veterans. Thank God for my brothers in arms, the VA, and people like Gary Hicks.

  10. Steven Wright    

    It was a sad time for Americans and especially those that lost their lives. Confusing as it was we Vietnam veterans were called to serve and serve we did. One thing that I remember well after coming home and enrolling in college, was the disrespect I received from some of the college professors who were so caught up in the political aspects and couldn’t let go, poking fault at the US military vets. They should have been over there serving like we did, but never did serve at all. Thank you Mr President for the recognition after all these years.

  11. Steven Wright    

    Thank you Mr President, it’s been a long time. Thank you fellow nam vet’s for your service and welcome home. God bless the souls of the ones who lost their lives, and my heart goes out to their familie

    Regards,

    Steve Wright

  12. Mary Phipps    

    Thank you President Trump! I was stationed at the Naval Hospital Oakland, Ca when many of the POW returned here for treatment. I have several Hospital Newspapers filled with their stories. I worked one on one with each POW to prepare paperwork for their back pay, awards, ID cards and all that was necessary to bring them back to what we call “normal living”. Sad but happy to be part of their Welcome Back!!
    YN1 Mary Nanna, Officer Personnel.

    1. Greg Pierce    

      Initiated by President Obama in 2012

  13. JL Barnes    

    This is over due, greatful that the honor is being shown.We need to honor the WWII front line men who returned last to no glory. All veterans from any point in time deserve our greatest respect.

  14. Jock c lindsay    

    One small mention buried in USA today on the 29th. No national recognition in the press or Media. I should have not expected more. Thanks to president Trump. All my best wishes to my fellow Vietnam vets

  15. Douglas C. Keller    

    God Bless and Guide you Mr. President! There are a great number of Vietnam Veterans that suffer. Thank you. And all that fought for this recognition.

  16. Carvel Puls    

    The media seems to only like to put stuff out there that is negative and gets people riled up. However, here is a long overdue, very positive action, taken by the Honorable President Trump!
    And how did I hear about it? By a tweet, from the Honorable President Trump!
    Not one beeping word on the news………
    I guess we Vietnam Veterans “LOVE OUR COUNTRY” more than the MEDIA!

    SP5 Puls
    4th/503rd/173rd Airborne Brigade “The HERD”
    1968/69 NAM

    1. Greg Pierce    

      This is old news.w did The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration start?
      This national commemoration was authorized by Congress, established under the Secretary of Defense, and launched by the President as follows: In 2007, the 110th Congress incorporated language in H.R. 4986 authorizing the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

      H.R. 4986 was signed into law as the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 by President George W. Bush on January 28, 2008.

      This Commemoration began with the Presidential inaugural event at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington D.C. on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012.

      Section 598 (Public Law 110-181) of the 2008 NDAA specifically addresses Commemoration activities.

  17. Anne Parker    

    I am grateful to those who have stepped up to honor every single person in our armed forces who bravely went in harm’s way in Viet Nam. If you haven’t read anything about this honor it’s probably because the mainstream media is so filled with hate for anything “Trump” they are blind to the good he is providing to our civil society and patriotic citizenry. Bravo President Trump and all those who pulled this together to honor our people. I dismiss the vulgar crass demeaning comments by those who know nothing of the meaning of “war” for those people cannot begin to understand what service life is. Elections are hugely important so that our men and women are lead by the best Commander in Chief that our country can provide. Thank you for providing this information and I will certainly forward it to many who served in that grim war.

  18. C.V. Compton Shaw    

    Thank you, US Congress and President Trump for creating the National Vietnam War Veterans day. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address should be put into the context of the Vietnam War and the Vietnam Veteran with regard to the same. I served with the US Army; 4th I.D.; 2/8th Inf., Republic of Vietnam 1969-1970.

  19. Roland Dell    

    Yes, good, it’s about time that we honor our present day veterans, well done Mr. President!

  20. Will    

    Something must be wrong here! Combat operations by the US did not cease on or by March 29th,1973. We need to fact check this assertion and make any and all necessary corrections!

  21. Pam Mettee    

    My husband was in Vietnam 1968-1969. He was a ga “Ground Pounder” with the 82nd Airborne. We were engaged when he left & married when he returned.
    I remember going to a party after we were married- I was proud of him so I was telling everyone that he came home on a Thursday and was enrolled in college on Monday. That night he told me nicely but firmly that I was to never talk about His Vietnam Service again. I didn’t understand but I did as he asked. Fast forward 47 plus years. He now has many health issues- the VA takes good care of him here in Iowa. Agent Orange effects-Vision loss, skin problems, PYSD, Ischemic Heart Disease (no family history) but had Full 7 hour Open Heart Surgery- I realized “This may never end”

  22. Greg Pierce    

    I still don’t understand why these ceremonies are NOT publicized.
    I was at a VA facility earlier, amount of material regarding local events-none.
    Well over 50,000 veterans in my area. Number notified last year approximately 300, just a photo-op for our congressman.
    C52K

  23. William Karp    

    Someone has already said it “TOO LITTLE TOO LATE” and I’ll say it again and again and again….
    Read about my brothers in battle, in “Survivors” by Zalin Grant, “Through the Valley” Vietnam 1967-1968 by Humphries and “The Magnificient Bastards” by Keith Nolan. I know, I was there, one of the lucky ones to make it back (Lucky?)
    Nothing can makeup for the terror, sacrifices, horror and loss of lives we that were in the field went through.
    Doc Karp, Alpha Company 3/21st, 196th Infantry ’67-’68

  24. Don Bean Sr.    

    Thank you President Trump for doing something that many Presidents before you should have done. May GOD Bless You and your family.

    Sp 4 Don Bean Sr.
    Casper Flt. Plt.
    173rd Airborne Brigade
    LZ English 70-71

    1. Greg Pierce    

      Signed into law by President Geo. W Bush

  25. Donald    

    I spent two tours In Country. .I am glad our President Trump and Senator Pat Toomey from my State honored the Vietnam Vets , (especially the fallen) . We are finally are getting this well deserved recognition!

    I have been watching a historical review of the war from beginning to end. I wanted to get a better understanding of the big picture and the Govt mistakes . I found some important facts to understand and share. I would like to see what other Vets think on these points:
    1) JFK felt the South Vietnamese had the primary responsibility to defend South Vietnam,, not Americans . He sent advisers but no combat troops. LBJ changed that to a America first defense policy without fully assessing if the South Vietnamese were willing to totally commit & draft their sons to their own defense.Also the S Vietnamese did not have the population behind them. Two important factors that should have told us to punt. We didn’t!
    2) When I was there in Saigon (67-68) there were thousands of able bodied S. Vietnamese men of combat age running their scooters all over the streets. I wondered why they were not drafted until after the Tet offensive in Jan 1968. Americans had 500K troops just before Tet , Yet the S. Vietnamese had just under 150K. This made no sense when it was primarily their country to defend …not ours. We were providing the Money, Arms, and Men,and they were proving,, their hand out, complaints & a token response.
    3) The war was run by LBJ and decisions to advance or withdraw over the same ground went over and over again. Bien Hoa AFB was hit every other night , Yet we couldn’t strike a Buddhist launching point nearby. This made no sense to the loss of millions of $$ in damaged planes..
    4)And the big one is this>> so consider the implications: No serious bombing of Hanoi or of Haiphong Harbor was done until Nixon ordered in in 1970… with the massive B-52s. That’s serious bombing but 10 years to late. We are at war & North Vietnam is invading the South, yet only tactical bombing outside Hanoi happened before Nixon’s order in 1970. This is absurd!

    Conclusions: First, although Americans never lost a battle in Vietnam our Politicians and Military Leaders at the top lost this war on strategy They failed to first evaluate if S Vietnam had the 100% commitment to sacrifice it all for their own defense,… before sending US combat troops. I did not see a 100% commitment & winning attitude from ARVN. when I was there..
    Second, if American combat troops are going in, then the B52s should be laying waste to the enemy before them from day one at the heart of Hanoi and Hyphong Harbor…not ten years to late. Haiphong is where all war materials arrived.. The enemy was there but we didn’t destroy him. This losing strategy caused the defeat! It was not in any way the Veterans who served there’s fault. We won every battle. I remain proud that I served my country during a difficult war. I hope our leaders learn not to let this happen again. To much was lost! USA USA USA Don Houk USAF

  26. Thomas C. Musumeci    

    Thank you for honoring us was on the USS Boston Ca 69 Heavy Cruiser supporting the troops I was there from July 1969 to November of 1969 I remember like it was yesterday

  27. Art Bartel    

    God Bless us all and those we left behind. As a 100% Disabled 24 year Retired Veteran of the United States Marine Corps, I proudly served from 1965-1966 in Vietnam having flown over 200 combat missions in the F4B Phantom. Thanks to all my fellow Patriots who remember us and continue to honor us today as we, like so many others before us, fade into history. Semper Fi and OOOoooorah and God Bless the USA.

  28. Greg Pierce    

    Make sure you are thanking the correct presidents.
    w did The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration start?
    This national commemoration was authorized by Congress, established under the Secretary of Defense, and launched by the President as follows: In 2007, the 110th Congress incorporated language in H.R. 4986 authorizing the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

    H.R. 4986 was signed into law as the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 by President George W. Bush on January 28, 2008.

    This Commemoration began with the Presidential inaugural event at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall) in Washington D.C. on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012.

    Section 598 (Public Law 110-181) of the 2008 NDAA specifically addresses Commemoration activities.

  29. LARRY ROSSOW    

    Didn’t hear about this in the news. I will never forget those who didn’t come home! 9th division, 2/4 arty, 1967-1968.

  30. Lucio Vasquez    

    I don’t understand why no one mention this National Vietnam Day to everyone who served in Nam. I was fortunate to return home to my girl friend and wife aho supported me then and now with my PTSD and health issues she still there everyday. I am a democrat, but l just want to thank the President Mr. Trump for seeing this through after many tears have gone by. I am a Vietnam Vet of 68-69 and yes my wife and l never discuss my time there, but she hears me at night when we should be sleeping. To all my brothers and sisters there is no greater force from a Veteran other then Christ himself who would die for his fellow American.
    God Bless America
    SP5 Lucio Vasquez Nam 68-69

    1. Greg Pierce    

      I asked the same question, the response from the committee was that it was the responsibility of corporate sponsors to publicize the events that started back in 2012.

  31. Donald MacIver    

    This is NOT the FIRST OFFICIAL VIETNAM WAR VETERANS DAY. President Obama signed a PROCLAMATION in 2012 and we in NYC have been commemorating it every year since. Here’s the proclamation from Obama!The White House
    Office of the Press Secretary
    For Immediate ReleaseMarch 29, 2012
    Presidential Proclamation — Vietnam Veterans Day

    VIETNAM VETERANS DAY

    BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    A PROCLAMATION

    On January 12, 1962, United States Army pilots lifted more than 1,000 South Vietnamese service members over jungle and underbrush to capture a National Liberation Front stronghold near Saigon. Operation Chopper marked America’s first combat mission against the Viet Cong, and the beginning of one of our longest and most challenging wars. Through more than a decade of conflict that tested the fabric of our Nation, the service of our men and women in uniform stood true. Fifty years after that fateful mission, we honor the more than 3 million Americans who served, we pay tribute to those we have laid to rest, and we reaffirm our dedication to showing a generation of veterans the respect and support of a grateful Nation.

    The Vietnam War is a story of service members of different backgrounds, colors, and creeds who came together to complete a daunting mission. It is a story of Americans from every corner of our Nation who left the warmth of family to serve the country they loved. It is a story of patriots who braved the line of fire, who cast themselves into harm’s way to save a friend, who fought hour after hour, day after day to preserve the liberties we hold dear. From Ia Drang to Hue, they won every major battle of the war and upheld the highest traditions of our Armed Forces.

    Eleven years of combat left their imprint on a generation. Thousands returned home bearing shrapnel and scars; still more were burdened by the invisible wounds of post-traumatic stress, of Agent Orange, of memories that would never fade. More than 58,000 laid down their lives in service to our Nation. Now and forever, their names are etched into two faces of black granite, a lasting memorial to those who bore conflict’s greatest cost.

    Our veterans answered our country’s call and served with honor, and on March 29, 1973, the last of our troops left Vietnam. Yet, in one of the war’s most profound tragedies, many of these men and women came home to be shunned or neglected — to face treatment unbefitting their courage and a welcome unworthy of their example. We must never let this happen again. Today, we reaffirm one of our most fundamental obligations: to show all who have worn the uniform of the United States the respect and dignity they deserve, and to honor their sacrifice by serving them as well as they served us. Half a century after those helicopters swept off the ground and into the annals of history, we pay tribute to the fallen, the missing, the wounded, the millions who served, and the millions more who awaited their return. Our Nation stands stronger for their service, and on Vietnam Veterans Day, we honor their proud legacy with our deepest gratitude.

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 29, 2012, as Vietnam Veterans Day. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that commemorate the 50 year anniversary of the Vietnam War.

    IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-sixth.

    BARACK OBAMA

    1. Greg Pierce    

      Yes I have posted the same info numerous time.
      Thank You

  32. Casey A Christiansen    

    I say “Welcome Home” my vet brothers. Let’s except our day and work together to help those coming home now. Our world war two vets never excepted Viet Nam vets or Korea vets as war hero’s because it wasn’t “the big war”. I say anyone serving in the military where ever they were serving are hero’s. The most important thing at this point is never again turning our backs on those serving our country. Those that have served in those military wars since Vietnam deserve our highest respect. Let’s not ever disrespect our military again.

  33. Casey A Christiansen    

    Sargeant E-5 Vietnam 1968-1969 Echo company 2nd bn, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Div.

  34. John G.R. Clegg    

    YES, giving credit where credit is due: March 29, 2012 President Obama signs Presidential Proclamation creating Vietnam Veterans Day.

    I know that with the 3+million American young men/women who served in Vietnam, we needed those at home, state-side to be supporting us; like Trump, screwing as many young women as he could while we were overseas, and then him having to “…fight his own personal Vietnam war avoiding STDs.” And I especially understand how a person could blatantly disrespect a Gold Star Family, having made the ‘Ultimate Sacrifice’ since Trump sacrifices so much when he’s signing documents and missing a round of golf.

  35. Gary Hicks    

    Some folks seem to be confused as to the difference between this legislation, previous legislation and a proclamation. Here’s a quick look without getting caught up in the details:

    The first falls under previous legislation. Passed by Congress and signed into LAW by President Bush, the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the creation of the Vietnam War Commemoration to plan “thank you” events and other honorary activities over the next several years. A list events, along with a search function to find the one nearest you is located at http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/events/ It did not create a specific day to honor Vietnam Veterans as a national observance.

    President Obama signed a proclamation (not a law) in 2012 (as pasted above). His proclamation recognized the date “March 29, 2012” as Vietnam Veterans Day. His proclamation created a national observance for all Vietnam Veterans, on that specific day in 2012.

    President Trump signed “Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017” that designates (by law) March 29 (every year) as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

    In short, each president did something to honor Vietnam Veterans.

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