Select commissaries to host events honoring living Vietnam War-era veterans
FORT LEE, Va. – The Defense Commissary Agency is hosting commemorative ceremonies March 29 at select stateside and overseas stores to recognize veterans who served on active duty during the Vietnam War era.
All Vietnam-era veterans who served from Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975 are invited to attend and receive a lapel pin as part of the commissary ceremony.
Patrons are asked to check their local commissary to confirm if their store is hosting a ceremony and the schedule. Some stores are conducting events that begin before March 29 and other events will be done in partnership with other on-base organizations.
“The Defense Commissary Agency is proud to be a part of this national effort to thank our Vietnam-era veterans for their service and sacrifice,” said retired Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, DOD special assistant for commissary operations. “These ceremonies are a significant way to reach our veterans, and we applaud the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration for being in the forefront of this observance.”
This is the fifth year for the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration event which annually honors the service of living Vietnam War veterans on March 29, Vietnam Veterans Day.
Vietnam Veterans Day was first established by presidential proclamation in 2012 leading to the start of annual observance events in 2014. The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 further established the events as a national observance to recognize Vietnam War-era veterans for their service.
Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Brazelton, a four-time Silver Star recipient and former Vietnam War prisoner of war, reflected on the Vietnam Veteran lapel pin during the July 8, 2015, congressional ceremony.
“I have had a number of medals pinned on me in my day and this is certainly the highest ranking and the most honors I have received for any pinning ceremony,” Brazelton said. “Even though it might just be a lapel pin to a lot of people, this is like a medal to the Vietnam veterans.”
Approximately 9 million U.S. military members served on active duty during the Vietnam War era. Out of the 2.7 million U.S. service members who served in Vietnam, more than 58,000 were killed and more than 304,000 wounded.
For more information, go to vietnamwar50th.com .