VA to commemorate 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War


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On March 29, our Nation will commemorate National Vietnam War Veterans Day on its 50th anniversary. This is an opportunity for VA employees and all Americans to recognize and thank our Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice during one of America’s longest wars.

All of us at VA encourage everyone to remember and respect the nine million American men and women – more than six million of whom are 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 country’s call to service.

This year, VA will again join more than 11,000 organizations across the country as a commemorative partner supporting the Department of Defense in this Vietnam War Commemoration. The program was launched in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama, and the commemoration and recognition activities will continue until 2025.

Because of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic, we must safely avoid large in-person events, but I invite all to find safe opportunities to plan or participate in small community sponsored activities from March 25 – March 29. Outside of these dates, we should remember that we can always thank and welcome home Vietnam Veterans any time of the year.

Please remember and help us reach out to 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 facilities. We encourage every American to show their deep gratitude to this generation of warriors and their families. Vietnam Veterans living in these conditions may especially appreciate your care and concern.

I also encourage everyone to visit the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War website to learn how you – as an individual, as a member of an organization, or an employee at a facility – can be a commemorative partner and participate in this year’s important tribute. Official commemorative partnerships offer opportunities to request lapel pins and other recognition items to present to Vietnam Veterans.

Other events:

Virtual Wall of Faces almost complete, needs remaining photos

Vietnam memorial walls release schedule, with COVID restrictions

Author

Denis McDonough

The Honorable Denis Richard McDonough was nominated by President Biden to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Mr. McDonough’s nomination was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 8th, 2021, and he was sworn in the following day as the 11th Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Comments

  1. Ser Siow Lin    

    My hubby, a vietnam war veteran (airborne ranger, army).. is stucked here with me abroad due to Covid restrictions we can’t travel. His wish is for someone to please not block his meds cuz he desperately needed them and FMP to reimburse his claims which included c&p exam costs which he paid but outcome of appeals forever undecided.
    Above all, he said his greatest wish is to ‘check out’ as nobody truly cares. I can only try to help but ineffective and can only watch him struggle his daily pains in vain.
    A veteran living abroad is so doomed and I feel extra sad for him on Vietnam Veterans Day.

  2. James Hopson    

    I was drafted in 1969. Never did go to Vietnam and was in the Marines for 4 years. I don’t even try to talk about the time I was in during the war because the ones that went to Vietnam that I’ve talked to have treated me like I don’t have the right to consider myself as a Vietnam veteran. We didn’t get any type of medal to show that we served during Vietnam which I think was wrong. I was poisoned at Camp Lejeune by the toxic drinking water and have gone through stage 4 cancer so, I guess that is my medal from Uncle Sam. Hope all Vietnam veterans enjoy their day. SEMPER FI !

  3. Larry Huppert    

    I’m somewhat confused (this condition seems to be recurring more often these days). The chosen date of Vietnam Veterans Day was March 29, 1974. I attended a commemorative 50th-year luncheon on or about April 1, 2016. If my math is correct, that would commemorate the 41st-year. Also, based on what I’ve read, it appears that today, March 29, 2021, is being considered as being the 50th-year. Again, if my math is correct, March 29, 2024, should be the 50th-year anniversary. Can someone help me out here?

    Finally, I really couldn’t care less about this whole date thing. I’m just happy that the powers-that-be in DC (he said with tongue firmly planted in mouth) finally acted on this whole issue at all. The war in Vietnam was MY war. When our “leaders” said that my assistance was needed to bring this war to a quick, successful completion, I volunteered. It was the right thing to do. That was 1967. It took seven more “quick” years before the conflict would grind to a halt. In the meantime, 58,274+ men and women paid the ultimate sacrifice. Our “friends and neighbors” reviled us. Very few of us were welcomed home or thanked for our service. That’s all changed. I bought a Vietnam Veteran’s cap some time ago, and the first time I wore it, I couldn’t believe the number of total strangers who thanked me for my service. Nice.

    I’ll get off my soapbox now. I never intended this to turn into a dissertation. To all my brothers and sisters, “Welcome home, and thank you for your service.” Enjoy YOUR day!

  4. Dennis Le blanc    

    I was in Mass. 26th armored division stateside ; luckily never called over. Came out sp4 tank commender.I salute all that served there!

  5. MYRA MOORE    

    In March 2011, US Senator Richard Burr of NC declares it “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.”
    In March 2012 Obama proclaimed it “Vietnam Veterans Day.”
    In March 2017 President Trump made it “NATIONAL Vietnam War Veterans Day.” A US holiday observed annually.

  6. Stephan W. Verhaart    

    Would like to apply for the Vietnam Lapel Pin
    Served in Vietnam from April 1968 to April 1969

    1. David Gartland    

      I am unable to attend any of the ceremonies, could I get one sent to my home?

  7. John R Gildroy    

    AS we try to celebrate the 50th Anniversary
    of the closing of our involvement and our
    Veterans of that time period Let’s remember some other VIP’S… I saw
    combat from Dec. 68 to Dec. 69 in the 1st/1st Armored Calvery in the
    Americal Divison, I Corp Vietnam. With out
    the technical support of the MFG’s and their civilian employees (who were
    volunteers to be there in Vietnam), for which without help keep our equipment
    running because of a technical problem
    We would have been in a big HURT!!!
    THEY were able to talk directly to the
    factory and get things to fix our problems
    In the field. Logistics and field support
    was very important over there and continues today.
    We were far away from home and needed Cheering Up… in come the USO
    and the Volunteer Entertainers and the other Staff and Candy Strippers who
    would spend a few hours with us to help
    take our mind off of Combat.
    All Support Volunteers!!! Thank You
    Then and Now… Sp-4 with a Purple Heart,
    Jack Gildroy

  8. H. James Hulton III    

    I am a Vietnam Era Veteran, commissioned officer, serving in the U.S. Air Force from January 1967 to June 1973. I am now a freelance copywriter and personal historian. Part of what I do is write individual personal histories. Since I am a Veteran myself, I have a strong interest in writing personal histories for Veterans. Veterans have great stories to tell.
    H. James Hulton III

    Thank you.

  9. Debara L Smith    

    Thank you Daddy for your ultimate sacrifice! Lt Col. Carl O. McCormick. Shot down while returning to Da Nang Air Base Oct. 6, 1972. You left behind your loving wife Patricia, and 5 D’s Debara, David, Donna, Diane and Dean. Mom has joined you in Heaven along with Donna and your first granddaughter D’Anna and your mom and dad. You volunteered to go from a B-52 Instructor Pilot to a Forward Air Controller in a tiny OV-10 Bronco. You earned 3 more Oak Leaf Clusters for your Air Medal as well as your Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart. We are heart broken but ohh so proud of you! I did get my RN as I always planned too, just like Mom and am a VA nurse in Tucson and where I was born at Davis Monthan. We miss you and love you everyday. Our lives were changed so dramatically that day. But we survived as you knew we would, that is the way you taught us. God Bless You Daddy! Love your very grateful daughter Debara L. Smith

  10. Wygant Armour Courter    

    There are several comments about the article where it is clear they did not read it before jumping to a negative conclusion.
    Please read it as it was written , It clearly says
    “All of us at VA encourage everyone to remember and respect the nine million American men and women – more than six million of whom are 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 country’s call to service.”

  11. Thomas Gibbons    

    To get a Vietnam Veteran Lapel pin, send an e-mail to:

    whs.vnwar50th_events@mail.mil

    Tom Gibbons
    U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran

  12. Ward Posey    

    I served there in ’67 – ’68. That is longer than 50 years ago. Hey read your damn History.

    1. Tony Sandoval    

      Sorry you feel the way you do, but you should’ve read the article carefully before you passed judgment on the 50 years bit. Have a blessed day fellow Nam Vet.

    2. Wygant Armour Courter    

      read the article before you jump to conclusions. Thank you
      “All of us at VA encourage everyone to remember and respect the nine million American men and women – more than six million of whom are 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 country’s call to service.

  13. William H Warrick III MD    

    They are trying to tell us that the War started in 1971?????? It started in March of ’65 and there were advisers there for more than 15 years before that. JFK tried to pull the Troops in the Fall of ’63 and they blew his brains out in broad daylight. Them LBJ rescinded the Withdrawal orderand started the War in ’65.

  14. Anonymous Sailor    

    Remembering my Viet Nam experience. – – Anonymous Sailor, South China Sea, Tonkin Gulf, Yankee Station, ’66/’67: “I once dreamt, that when I woke, a politician softly spoke, about the ending of the war, and fear of fighting nevermore. Think of all the Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers, whose hearts would not be broken – If those words were really spoken.”

  15. Lawrence Darby    

    SW
    Who are you talking about being a “yellow coward”. According to this article, Vietnam Veterans day was “launched by President Obama”. You are speaking of Donald Trump, right? He became president after Vietnam Veterans Day was established.

    1. L.S. Balmer    

      FYI:
      National Vietnam War Veterans Day unites Americans to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Vietnam_War_Veterans_Day

      This special day joins six other military-centric annual observances codified in Title 4 of the United States Code §6 (i.e., Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, Navy Day, Veterans Day).

      The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 was signed into law by 45th U.S. President Donald J. Trump, designating every March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

      March 29 is a fitting choice for a day honoring Vietnam veterans. It was chosen to be observed in perpetuity as March 29, 1973 was the day United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam was disestablished and also the day the last U.S. combat troops departed Vietnam. In addition, on and around this same day Hanoi released the last of its acknowledged prisoners of war.

  16. Jackie Mellom    

    Mr. Greenwood I agree with some of your comments however I am not quite sure which yellow coward you are addressing since there were so many in our administration’s. As far as I’m concerned is long as I am alive 50 years is not long enough . Our men and women were treated with disgust disrespect and dishonoured for what they were asked to do.

  17. SW    

    So why don’t we have a special World War I veterans day, a special World War II veterans day, a special Korean War veterans day? We NEVER hear about them any more, especially the Korean War veterans, did they just stop existing????????? I know the original veterans from the ORIGINAL Gulf War did, they’ve been replaced by the “new” vietnam veterans, aka, iraqi and afghanistan veterans. That’s ALL you hear about now. 50 years is long enough to be apologizing, it’s time to move on, especially now that those guys have their own “special” day granted to them by a yellow coward who paid his way out of doing his duty.

    1. Terri Gold    

      I am a wife and caregiver to a Vietnam Veteran. My veteran lost a kidney from contaminated water at Camp LeJune, was exposed to Agent Orange and that exposure caused a number of physical issues. He had a stroke because of his heart defects due to his Agent Orange exposure and he has the highest rated level of PTSD that the VA allows. His nightmares and his thrashing around at night that I have witnessed over then last 36 years have not only been frightening but also heartbreaking. I wish I could say enough is enough or that it’s time to get over it but I don’t have the luxury of doing that. Our Veterans, no matter how or where they served should be thanked every day and respect should be given to them at the highest level. I found your comments so insulting and truly feel sorry for your ignorance to what these men and women went through during Vietnam! I truly hope you never have those experiences.

    2. Gene Quindlen    

      Veterans Day (17 November) commemorates the end of World War I. VE Day (8 May) and VJ Day (15 August) commemorate World War II surrenders. The Korean Armistice is commemorated on 27 July.

    3. Dave Heston    

      Please tell us of the meritorious military service of Obama and Bill Clinton. Oh wait… one ducked and the other dodged. Neither had physical issues.

    4. Dennis King    

      They do. It’s called Veterans Day.

  18. Edward Greenwood    

    A special thanks for publishing this article on National Vietnam War Veterans Day for all of us who served. I’ll never forget those I fought with that never made it home.

  19. Colonel Maryrose Troniar, USA Retired    

    I would like to know how I can have a Vietnam Lapel Pin sent to 2 Army Nurses who each served 2 tours of duty in Vietnam during the war.
    Thank you for the recognition of women’s roles in the military
    in Vietnam. Please don’t forget the Wacs that served there & the other civilian women ie Red Cross.

    1. Thomas Gibbons    

      To get Vietnam Lapel Pins, send an e-mail to;
      whs.vnwar50th_events@mail.mil

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