As a Veteran, growing up in a family of male and female Veterans, dating back to World War II, the Vietnam War, Operation Just Cause, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, to now Operation Enduring Freedom, to name a few, I have witnessed first-hand what can be the tragic effects on those who served and those who supported them on the Home Front. Without a doubt our Vietnam War Veterans returned home to a hostile environment that isolated them, their pain, and the care they needed for far too long. In my journey to pay it forward, by in part becoming a VA employee, I have been privileged to be a part of a continually evolving and nationally recognized healthcare provider and research organization.

Vietnam 50th Commemoration FlagVA is proudly partnering with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Committee and Department of Defense (DoD) in honoring a grateful nation by thanking Vietnam Veterans and families for their service, valor and sacrifice.

In accordance with Public Law 110-181SEC.598, Congress authorized the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.  On May 25, 2012, the president proclaimed that May 28, 2012 through November 11, 2025 as the “Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.”

The commemoration committee is accomplishing this charge by recruiting commemorative partners throughout America. Their charge: “To thank and honor Veterans of the Vietnam War, To highlight the service of the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War, To pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front by the people of the United States during the Vietnam War, To highlight the advances in technology, science, and medicine related to military research conducted during the Vietnam War, and To recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the allies of the United States during the Vietnam War”.

Vietnam Veterans MemorialI am honored as a VA employee to be part of and witness to what can be accomplished when working on a united team of professionals, and in this case from VA, to DoD, to the National Park Service, to the Military District of Washington, 3rd Infantry Regiment and the United States of Americas Vietnam War Commemoration Committee.

This partnership, along with the VA’s unique connection to the Veteran Community, will kick-off  March 29 with dignified events across the country and a Wreath Laying Commemoration Ceremony at the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. Check with your local VA facility to see when they are hosting their Vietnam 50th commemoration event.

It costs nothing to become a commemorative partner and to date there are currently more than 5,200 partners throughout America. VA has joined a grateful nation striving to honor and respect our Vietnam Veterans and their families. Please join this effort by attending any one of the hundreds of events across the country and thank a Vietnam Veteran for their service.


About the author: Sherri Stephan has been an employee with the VA for 15 years and is currently in the Veterans Affairs Learning University (VALU) Executive Potential Program serving on detail with the National Veterans Outreach Office in Washington. She is a former U.S. Army Soldier and mother of two young men, one  is a Veteran and the other is currently serving with the Ohio National Guard.

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15 Comments

  1. Gerald W. Dolloff April 1, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    I proudly served with the 1st Cavalry Division in 1966-67 and with the Americal Div in 1970-71. I would not change my experiences for anything. I was a grunt in ’66-67 and a REMF in 70-71. I saw the war from both sides. Glad they are doing this for us – finally. Way overdue. Thank you, my Brothers and Sisters for your service to our great nation.

  2. Tyrone Evans April 1, 2016 at 11:33 am

    I was with the 1st CAV 2/5 RECON 1965 to 1966 Thank You.

  3. Tyler bailey wayman March 31, 2016 at 11:51 am

    im glad to be in amireca

  4. carl a. conrad March 29, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    in college,5 of us were drafted 3 went to canada.They were invited back before we were!!!!!! What’s with that??? Thank’s alot!!! a vietnam vet!

  5. Jennifer Patridge March 29, 2016 at 9:56 am

    To my dad who passed away on October 24, 2015. Thank you for your service. You will always be my hero.

  6. James M. Copeland March 28, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    Every man and woman didnt even want to be there but if you did not go you went to jail so we need to salute them and thank them for what they have done. Lost a few friends over th e re 4f motorcycle acc. Or they would have draft me when they caught me with a joint in 1969 but the life i saved was my own.

  7. BOOKER T. HUNTLEY March 28, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    BOOKER T. HUNTLEY(1967-1968) VIETNAM I WERE WITH THE 9TH.DIV.AND WITH THE 25TH DIV IN WAR ZONE C U

  8. karen keefe March 28, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Sp4 Karen Keefe
    Fort Benning GA
    1978 1981
    I thank you

  9. William Paul Beau Gruendlwr March 27, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    As a 70% service connected, PTSD-disabled combat veteran of both the AMERICAL and 101st AIRBORNE (Ambl) Divisions, I welcome the recognition of a grateful nation.

  10. Raymond Schultz March 27, 2016 at 7:55 am

    I’m active duty Army and the son of a Vietnam vet. This looks like a great event.
    On behalf of my father, who passed away in 1993, thank you…

    It is greatly appreciated.
    RS

  11. Richard Bee March 26, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    NOTHING will ever make up for the Vietnam veterans being treated as crap for over 40 years.

  12. Michael T. Boston March 25, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    I am an ex marine infantry corporal squad leader, Vietnam 10/66-11/67. I was wounded on the left side of my face but by far, the worst wound I came back with was PTSD. I’ve suffered with it since 1967 & have been hospitalized 4 times but it wasn’t until 6 weeks ago, did I finally start therapy with a psychologist specially trained in PTSD.

  13. E.Serwan Jr March 25, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Just Remember Only 29 States Out Of 50 Have This Day On The Books

  14. d. dahlstrom March 23, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Who has the authority to do that ?

  15. d. dahlstrom March 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    I `am banned from the V.A.

Comments are closed.

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