VA Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War


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President Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 on March 28, 2017, to recognize and thank our Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice during one of the longest wars in our country’s history. This Act designates every March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day—a day for all Americans to come together to remember and honor the service and sacrifice of our Vietnam Veterans and their families.

We remember 9 million American men and women—more than 6 million living today—who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during our involvement in Vietnam from November 1, 1955, to May 7, 1975. Whether they were stationed in-country, in-theater, or elsewhere during those two decades, they answered the call to duty.

I am the son of a Vietnam Veteran and career Army officer. One of the most traumatic days of my life was being told that my father had been gravely wounded in the invasion of Cambodia in 1970. I was six. After three long years of recovery, he returned to the 82nd Airborne Division. So, my family and I experienced first-hand the enormous sacrifices this generation of Americans made in courageous service to our Nation.

This year, VA again joins more than 11,000 organizations across the country as a commemorative partner supporting the Department of Defense in this Vietnam War Commemoration. The commemoration program was launched in 2012 and continues to 2025. I invite all VA leaders to either host ceremonies or participate in community events from March 25 to March 29.

Additionally, help us reach those Vietnam Veterans who may be living in remote locations, those who are physically unable to attend commemorative events, and those in assisted living, geriatric, rehabilitative, or palliative care. It is our duty to show our deep gratitude to this generation of warriors and their families.

Please visit https://www.vietnamwar50th.com/ to learn how your organization or facility can be a commemorative partner and participate in this important tribute. Official commemorative partnership offers historical media and opportunity to request lapel pins and other recognition items to present to Vietnam Veterans.

Thank you all for your service to VA and your devotion America’s Veterans.

Author

Robert Wilkie

The Honorable Robert L. Wilkie was sworn in to serve as secretary of Veterans Affairs on July 30, 2018. He also served as the acting secretary of Veterans Affairs from March 28, 2018 to May 29, 2018.

Before confirmation as VA Secretary, Mr. Wilkie served Secretary James Mattis as his Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness—the principal advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense for Total Force Management as it relates to readiness, National Guard and Reserve component affairs, health affairs, training, and personnel requirements and management, including equal opportunity, morale, welfare, recreation, and the quality of life for military families.

Comments

  1. Harry Pender    

    I am Vietnam Veteran. I have suffered with heart disease since 2009. The VA has known of this condition since 2010. I was given a 30% disability in 2016. Why was I not given disability from 2010 when the VA received written proof of my condition..I have made this known to the VA on three occasions. Can someone explain why I was not paid commendation from 2010 when VA received written proof…
    Harry G Pender

    [Editor: Your claim decision letter explains your award, the rate, and the effective date.]

  2. Charles Walter Richardson    

    In December of 2019 I requested the Veterans Administration to reevaluate the injuries to my knees. I was rather amazed how quickly I was scheduled for an examination.
    In January I went in and they reexamined my knees. I was a little surprised on how quickly they did this as it was the fourth time my knees have been examined.
    The previous three times my knees were examined the examination lasted 30 to 45 minutes. This fourth examination was over in between 5 and 10 minutes.
    Today I received The Rate letter dated 2 / 10 / 20. I was absolutely stunned to see they had reduced my rating from 80% to 50%.
    Based on less than 10 minutes examining my knees they took 30% of my disability away.
    I immediately contacted the Veterans Administration and requested a hearing on this.
    When the Veterans Administration contacts me back I want a face-to-face hearing so I can look the person in the eye and have them explain to me why they did this.

    1. Charles Walter Richardson    

      I made an appointment with a real orthopedic surgeon to get an actual examination on my knees.

      This fellow that spent between five and 10 minutes not examining my knee it’s just a physician’s assistant whose experience is working for one of the urgent care clinics.

      He never tested flixation or extension of my knees end of the Veterans Administration based their proposal on incomplete medical data.

      I wish the Veterans Administration would stop hiring incompetent examiners.

      1. Charles Walter Richardson    

        I reviewed a copy are the report The Examiner prepared this morning.
        Many of the tasks he claims to have completed we’re never performed.
        I am totally at a loss that I have to battle I report where everything is made up on it.

  3. Ron Baxter    

    Fix the VA system and take care of all veterans they have earned and deserve it. We have to many homeless veterans this needs to be fixed. Veterans before illegals

  4. Gary Brown    

    My VA care from Durham, NC VAMC is tops and I get all my meds mailed to me, all ordered online. Secure Messaging is really great.

    Took me six years to get through the claims & appeals process.

    Served with 25th ID June 1968 – June 1969 at Cu Chi.

    Was a REMF that kept tabulating machines running all night to print the casualty reports, etc.
    Every third night, out on perimeter bunker line for guard duty. I showed up as an 11B40 to drive APCs but there were not that were operable. Went back to base camp and found another job.

    As Bill Murray said in “Stripes”: “blowed up, sir!”

  5. Bill Butler    

    Wayne, is your comment a way for you to rationalized Trump’s cowardice as being OK with you?

    1. Julie Eley    

      He’s done more for our vets than anyone, & cowardice?

  6. Glenn Ferrand    

    I am a Vietnam Veteran, serving in 1971. Also volunteered and served in Thailand and Guam. I am currently satisfied with the care I receive at the Durham, NC VA. I am writing on behalf of my brother in law, who was in the Navy, stationed at GITMO during the Vietnam war. He has been denied VA medical coverage because he is not considered a Vietnam Veteran. This newsletter states that if you served during the Vietnam war, no matter where you were stationed, you are considered a Vietnam Veteran. I have another family member that was stationed in Germany in the mid-80’s. He has a hearing issue, and was immediately enrolled into the VA. Please explain to me why my brother in law, stationed at GITMO while serving in the USN in the 60’s, is denied Vietnam Veteran status.

  7. Leonard K. Nakoa, Jr.    

    Mr. Secretary Robert Wilkie, I’m a Vietnam veteran serving in Nam from 1968-1969. Now I’ve been trying to get my PTSD, Sleep Apnea and Lower back pain disabilities. I have been Denied so many times. I sent my disability forms from several doctors about my disability and was told that I am recovering on my PTSD. According to my Phycriatist, she recommend ab100% PTSD. All the medication she gave me wasn’t working. We Vietnam veterans are getting the round around in our disabilities. I’ve been Denied since 2010 on my claims. This is a disgrace to us Vietnam veterans. Mahalo for your help.

  8. Neel Fredenburgh    

    i am a vietnam era vet. i have one question. why cant you keep doctors at local clinics?? (bainbridge n.y.) tele health is a great idea, but i think its over taxing the doctors now. as mine has gone back to florida for the winter. there for over working what staff is there. im not shure if hes in a clinic there or not, but if he is , and working days there , and tele health for n.y. state isnt that a bit much?? and all the help at bainbridge seems to be too busy working, and cant answer emails or phone calls. or am i asking too much? i understand being able to “multi task” but how far is too far without depriving us?

  9. Harold Payne    

    Some of the replies you don’t know if they are Vietnam Vets or just some that has a Political Agenda.
    I am a Veteran Veteran have been exposed to AGENT ORANGE, Suffer from PTSD. Can’t say a thing Negative About The VA.
    I am Glade To See that There is Vietnam Remembrance Day. Some Guys I Talk to Feel like They Will never feel that they have never come in their mind. I felt the same way until I Came home From being activated For Desert Storm. What a return we got. The Thank You The Yellow Ribbons and many other types of thank You. I Told Guys I Knew that I finally felt that I Came Home. My Thoughts and Prayers to Men and Women who still fell that they haven’t come home. To The Families Who Lost Loved Ones, My Prayers to You Also.

  10. Steve Korovesis    

    Trump is a disgrace to this country and it’s great military. I’m a Vietnam combat veteran and have more respect for those who fled to Canada to avoid the war than old Bone Spurs and his lying to get a 4F classification.

    1. Thomas Hankins    

      President Trump is the best president we have ever had Barr none ! This is the reason we need to always vote in a none political person as president. It is the responsibility of ever American citizen to vote for the betterment of this country and to up hold the Constitution and Bill of Rights as written by our forefathers . Our government is in need of cleansing of corruption and treason against this country and President Trump is trying to do this and I thank him to the bottom of my heart !
      O’ yes, I too am a combat veteran of Vietnam !

    2. Julie Eley    

      That’s sad with all he’s done & continues to do for our vets..

  11. Martin Stults    

    VN War Commemorative pin? How many VN Vets received one? I didn’t. A lot of recognition too late. It was a conflict in 1969 and now you call it a war? What changed? Thanks a lot, you just made my day.

  12. Ken Leland    

    Why not honor the many Vietnam Veterans buy giving them the medals they deserve,especially the Marine combat veterans. Check their records. Many were wounded several times yet they returned each time and believe me that is valor. I see veterans at many events who never saw combat yet many have bronze stars. Even though most do not have a V for valor most Americans do not know the difference. The bronze star without a V for valor should be a lesser award than the Purple Heart like it was from 1943 until 1973 and records should be checked and awards given to those who deserve them.

  13. Ronald Boto    

    I served in the Army from 70 to 72, but while still in basic President Nixon excused draftees of being sent to Vietnam (so I was sent to Korea). To this day I am still really proud of the men and women who did serve in Vietnam, and I thank each and every one of them.

  14. Ronald Boto    

    I served in the Army from 70 to 72, but while still in basic President Nixon excused draftees of being sent to Vietnam (so I was sent to Korea). To this day I am still really proud of the men and women who did serve in Vietnam, and I thank each and every one of them.

  15. James Checkett    

    2/19/2020

    Dear Secretary Wilkie,

    I am a Vietnam veteran with 3 tours in the I Corp area near Chu Lai and Da Nang. where I was overexposed to Agent Orange.
    When the VA finally recognized my ischemic heart disease was caused by this exposure, I submitted a Claim in 2008.
    6 years later, in 2014, I finally received an award but it was made under erroneous information.
    I immediately submitted a NOD to correct the erroneous information and correct my award.

    3 years later, in 2017, I had a teleconference with a Judge Jennifer Hwa from the Board of Veterans Appeal, and 2 months later in February she issued a finding in which she agreed with me and Remanded the award back to the Regional St. Louis Office to correct it. She additionally stated that because it was a Remand, and because of my age, by law the Remand was required to be handled in an expeditious manner.

    I’m not sure what is considered “expeditious” by the VA, but it is now 3 years later, ( and 12 years since my original Claim) and neither my Representative, Mr. Don Brown from the Missouri Veterans Commission, or myself are allowed to speak with anyone at either the St. Louis Regional Office or the Board of Appeals in Washington, D.C. to find out where my Remand is in the VA system, or when, after these 12 years, I might bring closure to my 12 year old initial claim.

    After all my communication difficulties with the VA, I would be shocked to hear back from either you or someone on your staff, or even think someone would even take the time to read this request, but if that should happen, my contact info is at follows:

    James J. Checkett, USNA Class of 1964, DOB (redacted), SVC NO, (redacted)
    (redacted)
    Eureka, MO ( a suburb of St. Louis, MO )
    Home no. (redacted)
    Cell no. (redacted)
    email : (redacted)
    Appeal No, (redacted)
    Docket No. : (redacted)

    Respectfully submitted,

    James J. Checkett, USN( Ret.)

    1. Gary Hicks    

      Mr. Checkett, you message has been read and passed forward.

  16. lee a. Sorenson    

    Yep,I was there from 1971-73. How wonderful to be recognized for service then have to fight the VA every step of the way for service connected or AO issues. Another 10 years and most of us will be gone and the VA can give a sigh of relief that the troublesome group from Vietnam is no longer here.

  17. Donald S. Crauswell    

    Bladder Cancer, MGUS, and Hypertension, all caused by Agent Orange, you damned well know it yet sit on your ass and watch us die. My bladder removed and they suspect cancer is still in me, will I die before you recognize these ailments?

  18. Richard G Kensinger    

    I served from 1969~1973 as an AF ER medic. My medical training is still quite useful 50 yrs later. I got my advanced clinical degree via the GI Bill. Vietnam is the most detested, despised and protested conflict ever. Over 60,000 died, more civilians were killed than combatants on both sides combined.
    Those who came back are still traumatized. I conduct research on combat trauma and provide free clinical consultation to vets even back to Korea. This is my way to honor all who made this sacrifice.

    I still feel bitter about this conflict. I read H.R. McMaster’s Dereliction of Duty to discover that we were betrayed by 5 consecutive Administrations who knew we could not win a conflict like this one.
    Rich

  19. Robert David Rutkoski    

    Dear Sir
    I served in Viet Nam 68-69 with the 101st Airborne 1/327th. It was there I was exposed to Agent Orange.
    Shortly after my discharge in 1970 I developed Hypothyroid disease. There is no family history for this condition present or past.
    Medical and the science community have recommended to add Hypothyroid to the Agent Orange registry.
    I read, A bill has been drafted to add Hypothyroid and two other conditions to the List.
    In closing , I’m asking that we please move forword with the necessary steps to help many of my fellow Viet Nam Vets suffering from the effects of Agent Orange.

    Respectfully
    R.D. Rutkoski

  20. WILLIAM E COAKLEY    

    Your organization dis-honors all veterans. You claim to be transparent yet your National IRIS Response Center Manager, Janesville, WI 53547-5235 would rather lie than do his or her job. Your OIG just ignores you not even acknowledging they received a complaint. If you don’t ask a question then it is your fault that things don’t get fixed. But it appears that if you continue to try and get an answer you are bothering them and they just lie.

  21. Bill Butler    

    Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act to recognize and thank Vietnam Veterans for their service and sacrifice. Well that’s the least he could have done considering he used a phony doctor’s letter that said he had bone spurs to be classified 4F, unfit for Military Service.

    1. Wayne Granger    

      Grow up. Get a life. Move on.

Comments are closed.