Showing posts with label Vietnam Veterans Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vietnam Veterans Day. Show all posts

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Vietnam Veterans Day with the voice of first talking GI Joe

The voice of the first talking G.I. Joe action figure is a true American hero


The New York Post
By Melanie Gray
March 28, 2020
For the Corsairs, today is an opportunity for all Americans to recognize Vietnam veterans for their service, particularly because so many were shunned when they returned home from fighting America’s most unpopular war.
Bill Corsair, voice of the first talking G.I. Joe action figure.


Bill Corsair is the voice of the first talking G.I. Joe doll, a SAG award winner and a Guinness World Record holder.

But the title that the Manhattanite is proudest of: Army veteran.

Corsair, 79, went to Vietnam in January 1969 as part of the fabled First Cavalry Division. He came back 10 months later a changed man.

“To me, it was the bravest and most patriotic and unselfish thing I’ve ever done, and I can’t imagine my life if I hadn’t,” Corsair said from his Upper West Side home.

Today, as the country wages a health war on the home front, Corsair wants to honor those 2.7 million men and women who served alongside him by calling attention to Sunday’s National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Roughly 60,000 made the ultimate sacrifice.
read it here

COVID-19 canceled Vietnam Veterans Day Celebrations...so here is mine!

Vietnam Veterans Day Tribute


Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 29, 2020

Today is Vietnam Veterans Day and a lot of you are feeling down because you are used to going to events organized to thank you for your service and a way to be with other veterans. Because of CORVID-19 those events have been postponed.

This is my small way of taking time to let you know, you have not been forgotten and are not alone!

What this nation owes Vietnam Veterans is far more than just a day to honor your service. It goes beyond wanting to let you know we, as a nation, are sorry for the way you were treated after you served this nation.

Giving you the truth about how Vietnam Veterans Day began, is a start.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release March 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

Now you know that this day to offer as tribute to Vietnam Veterans began back in 2012, but as you also know, the years are not the truth. The years are just those recognized as such.

You know the first recognized service member killed in Vietnam was Air Force T-Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. The following facts are from The Wall
The first American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Air Force T-Sgt. Richard B. Fitzgibbon Jr. He is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having a casualty date of June 8, 1956. His name was added to the Wall on Memorial Day 1999.
First battlefield fatality was Specialist 4 James T. Davis who was killed on December 22, 1961.
And the last came in 1975.
The last American soldier killed in the Vietnam War was Kelton Rena Turner, an 18-year old Marine. He was killed in action on May 15, 1975, two weeks after the evacuation of Saigon, in what became known as the Mayaguez incident.

Others list Gary L. Hall, Joseph N. Hargrove and Danny G. Marshall as the last to die in Vietnam. These three US Marines Corps veterans were mistakenly left behind on Koh Tang Island during the Mayaguez incident. They were last seen together but unfortunately to date, their fate is unknown. They are located on panel 1W, lines 130 - 131.

This is from the President Ford Library

Your battles lasted almost 20 years by some accounts. Yet, in all honesty, your battles never ended.

When you came home, treated as if you should not have returned, you accomplished so much for the sake of the same people who did worse than turn their backs on you.
At the Orlando Nam Knights fundraiser for Homes For Our Troops, Vietnam Veteran and Medal of Honor hero Sammy Davis talked to me about what it was like coming home after all he'd been through. It is a story few have heard before. As Sammy put it, it is one of the reasons no other veteran will ever come home treated like that again.


Vietnam Medal of Honor Sammy Davis has a message to all the troops coming home. Talk about it! Don't try to forget it but you can make peace with it. Dixie Davis has a message for the spouses too. Help them to talk about it with you or with someone else.


All over the country, men and women like Sammy returned with a new mission. Taking care of other veterans and making sure that no generation ever had to go through what they went through.
Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. (VVA) is a national non-profit corporation founded in 1978 in the United States that is committed to serving the needs of all veterans. It is funded without any contribution from any branch of government. VVA is the only such organization chartered by the United States Congress and dedicated to Vietnam veterans and their families. The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code. Its founding principle is "Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another."
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the only national Vietnam veterans organization congressionally chartered and exclusively dedicated to Vietnam-era veterans and their families.

By the late 1970s, it was clear the established veterans groups had failed to make a priority of the issues of concern to Vietnam veterans. As a result, a vacuum existed within the nation’s legislative and public agenda. In January 1978, a small group of Vietnam veteran activists came to Washington, D.C., searching for allies to support the creation of an advocacy organization devoted exclusively to the needs of Vietnam veterans. VVA, initially known as the Council of Vietnam Veterans, began its work. At the end of its first year of operation in 1979, the total assets were $46,506.


I met my Vietnam veteran husband in 1982. Everything I have learned about PTSD came because of him and the wonderful man I saw beneath the pain he carried home with him. The following are videos I started to make in 2006 because I ended up falling in love with all Vietnam veterans because of what you did for all of us!

This was the first one and it was shown by a member of the US Navy bringing troops back from Iraq.








UPDATE

Monday, April 1, 2019

Race Car Tribute to Vietnam Veterans

Auto of honor: Motley man pays tribute to Vietnam vets with race car


By Brainerd Dispatch 
April 1, 2019 

Barry Mudford crouched down to read the names of his fallen comrades closer.
A veteran of the Vietnam War, Mudford recognized some of the men listed—those soldiers from the Brainerd lakes area who lost their lives in the conflict. The names were part of a custom-designed wrap on a Mod 4 car owned by Jess Geesey, a racer participating in the North Central Speedway car show Friday, March 29, at the Westgate Mall.
Geesey, who races at the Barrows track on Saturdays during the summer season, said he wanted to honor Vietnam veterans—including his own father, who he said served as a tanker during the war. With the help of Corcoran-based Cain Designs and Wraps, Geesey's race car does just that, bumper to bumper. read more here

Sunday, March 31, 2019

"When I retired...Vietnam came to my mind"

Vietnam veterans battle PTSD decades after war


News 13
Tori Gessner
March 29, 2019

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) - Dozens of Vietnam veterans gathered to celebrate National Vietnam Veterans Day on Friday, but for some vets, the battle didn't end following the war.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, eight out of every 100 veterans have post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD as a result of their experiences overseas.

"I started realizing all these things that happened to me over the years- I don't like crowds, noises bother me, and it all started coming back," George Bontay, who served as a civil engineer in the Vietnam War said.
Some experience the symptoms of PTSD immediately, but many vets say they didn't realize they had it until later on.

"When I retired in 2012 from the federal government, every day all of a sudden Vietnam came to my mind, and there wasn't a day that I didn't think about Vietnam," Air Force veteran, Jaime Lleras said.

Symptoms of PTSD vary, but veterans say after the war they had trouble sleeping, constantly felt on edge and avoided talking about their experiences altogether.

While there is no cure for PTSD, some Vietnam veterans have found a sense of relief with help from the Myrtle Beach Vet Center.
read more here

Friday, March 29, 2019

When is Vietnam Veterans Day?

When is Vietnam Veterans Day?

Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 29, 2019

But around here...

it is everyday!


Vietnam veterans honored at State House in Boston

State House recognizes ‘great significance’ of Vietnam veterans


Boston Herald
By MARY MARKOS
March 28, 2019

Ceremony on eve of new day of recognition for once-disrespected men
“We certainly went through our trials and tribulations. I can’t be prouder of all our armed forces, not just the marines but all our armed forces … I’m proud of my uniform, I’m proud of what I did. It’s nice to see people finally be recognized for it.” Jim Laskey

Vietnam War veterans were welcomed and honored at the first annual Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day ceremony at the State House Thursday, a stark contrast to the way they were treated when they came home over 40 years ago.

“We should never, ever treat our veterans the way we did, the way we treated Vietnam veterans when they returned,” Rep. Alan Silvia said in his remarks. “Much time has passed and we realize now the great significance Vietnam veterans have had on our country and our freedom and we all thank you.”

Silvia (D-Fall River) and Rep. Paul Schmid (D-Westport), both Vietnam veterans, decided to host the now-annual event after realizing that there was nothing planned at the State House to recognize National Vietnam War Veterans Day, designated for March 29 annually, signed into law by President Trump in 2017.

“It means a lot. We’ve been celebrating it on our own for about 30 years, so to be recognized by our state is excellent,” Vietnam veteran Harry Tripp told the Herald. “We’re happy to be here, we’re proud to be here.”

Tripp, a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, grew up in Westport and served in the Coast Guard from 1969-73. He said the poor treatment of veterans after the war is “still fresh” and “still hurts.”

“It was very difficult coming back. Nobody looked at you the same and actually most of us, including myself, never told anybody that we were a Vietnam veteran until recently and then it became something that we could be proud of,” Tripp said. “If you’re against the war, you’re against the war, but not the warrior. That’s how we felt.”

Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans’ Services Francisco Urena spoke about a new memorial coming to Fall River, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall with the names of the over 58,000 people who perished in the war.
read more here

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Battle to heal PTSD began with Vietnam Veterans

Vietnam Veterans Service Did Not End
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 31, 2018

Yesterday, all across the nation, these men and women were honored for their service. How many knew how far that service reached when they said "thank you" to them? How many knew their service did not end when they came home?

To post this yesterday, would not have been as meaningful. The stories are all over the online world this morning, but as you know, they are all over this site on a daily basis.

Our Vietnam veterans managed to do the impossible. They came home hated, but did not give up on each other. They did not give up on any other generation, although the other generations of veterans did not welcome them. They were turned away but would not go away quietly.

What they accomplished needs to be acknowledged as benefiting every citizen. It was their efforts, despite how they were treated, that civilians receive treatment for the inner wounds after surviving traumatic events. It was their efforts that produced a clearer understanding of the men and women who serve as our first responders in law enforcement, fire departments and other emergency responders.

Vietnam veterans came home with the same wounds all other generations came home with, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. While it was called many different names, the results were all the same. Wars they thought they were forced to fight alone within the borders of their own minds.

If you think that the stories of being mistreated were fabricated, then listen to MOH Sammy Davis talk about what happened to him. This interview was done at the Orlando Nam Knights, when he came to speak at a fundraiser for young veteran.

Before the ceremony, Sammy and his wife Dixie sat down, told me the story, and I had never heard it before. Still shocked, I was filming when his Medal of Honor Citation was being read. Here what happened to him along with what he did before he was treated as badly as he was.




Yellowstone National Park
A wreath was placed at the Yellowstone National Cemetery during the ceremony to remember those who fought and lost their lives in the Vietnam War. Navy Corpsman, Paul Thomae read a poem that said, "When I came home from Vietnam I wasn't met by a marching band. The crowd at the airport shouted and cried. They told us all that they wished we a died."
Roseburg National Cemetery
Douglas County Commissioner Tim Freeman thanked the Vietnam veterans for stepping forward and serving in an unpopular war. “When our country called, you did not hesitate to do your duty. Your dedication and sacrifice were ignored and belittled by America. The only welcome home many of you received was given by your immediate family or hostile demonstrators,” Freeman said.

Kansas City
They went where they were sent. That's what numerous U.S. Military veterans from the Vietnam period said during that gathering where retired soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors received a special lapel pin meant to honor them for their service.

Bakersfield
Sheriff Donny Youngblood, the guest speaker and a Vietnam veteran himself, said when he came back from the war in 1969 people made veterans embarrassed about what they'd done in service to their country. Youngblood stayed away from veterans events for years, not because he wasn't proud of his service, but because no one else was. He was required to go to those events after being elected sheriff in 2006. They still made him uncomfortable, but gradually he's seen a change in how veterans are perceived.

"If you know a Vietnam veteran, I can't tell you what it means to shake their hand and say thank you," he said.
Newark
One of those who copes with not just physical wounds from the war, but also with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is Paul Clark, a Marine and retired Columbus Police Officer who was in attendance with his wife, and his service dog of two years, Alice. The 1961 Watkins Memorial High School graduate served from 1962-67 during the war era. Clark, a three-time Purple Heart recipient, was also awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry at Tam Ke.
Cape Canaveral National Cemetery
Since then, the cemetery has become the final resting place to more 3,700 men and women, according to cemetery director Don Murphy. And the numbers are growing daily, he said. In fact, the reason the flag was at half-staff was because there had already been one funeral there that morning.
When you look online for events in your area, be sure to read what the veterans had to say. Then think of their grateful attitude so long after they returned. Now maybe you will appreciate them even more.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

POTUS committed an evil act pretending to care about disabled veterans!

Vietnam Veterans Woke Up To Attack
Combat PTSD Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
March 29, 2018
The "duty and honor" words have just turned into words for millions of our disabled veterans and families. They did their part, lived up to the oath to "protect and serve" this country. Yet the obligation this nation owes them has just been torn apart by the whims of the Commander-in-Chief.

What am I talking about? Treating veterans as if the promises made to them can be broken as easily as cowards breakup on Facebook or Twitter.

Right now, on Vietnam Veterans Day, as President Trump gloats for signing the Bill into law last year, he has chosen to begin the biggest assault against them.

Apparently he has decided our veterans should be treated just like all other citizens having to deal with private health care. 

"President Trump suggested Thursday that he fired David Shulkin as his secretary of Veterans Affairs because Shulkin wasn’t adequately aligned with his desire to quickly give veterans more options to get VA-funded care in the private sector."

“We made changes because we want them taken care of, we want them to have choice so that they can run to a private doctor and take care of it, and it’s going to get done,” Trump said during a speech in Ohio. “It’s going to get done. We’ll always protect the people that have protected us. We have to.”
That obligation this nation promised them has just been broken! Sending them into the mess the rest of us deal with is evil! They prepaid for their care the day they ended up with wounds they will carry the rest of their lives.

He also decided that older veterans should no longer be guaranteed the benefits they were told would be "permanent and total" should be cut because they are too old to work.

Any clue what these two things are doing to them? Any clue what kind of unjustified assault this is for them?


If we allow this to happen, then every generation should be terrified of what else they will take away after you put your lives on the line serving this country!


Congress has allowed all this to happen to you because far too many of them agree that you are no longer worth treating like you did something worthwhile by making sure this nation remained free!


Congress has had the jurisdiction over how all of you are treated since 1946. We all need to be asking why it is the VA has gone from one crisis situation to another while veterans suffered, waiting for the promises to be fulfilled.


In order to destroy the VA, they allowed all the suffering to continue and they got away with it because too many were pretending they cared about those who dared to risk their lives. 


If you think this is political, you're right because all politician have been dismissing the IOU we owe veterans!
Time to honor the IOU
by
Chaplain Kathie
March 23, 2009


There are wounds you can see with your eyes.


Then there are wounds you can see part way with your eyes.

His hair will grow back in and cover the scar of his head wound, but you will not see what has happened to his life after.

But there are also wounds that cut so deeply you never manage to see what is right in front of your eyes.


You need to see these wounds, these hidden casualties of war, with your heart.


Sometimes they grieve and the pain fades while memories linger. For far too many the pain feeds on the sensitive soul within the heart of the warrior.


They come home, try to return to friends and family but they are not the same. They want to excuse it as everyone else has changed instead of them until they finally stop denying the nightmares and flashbacks have managed to change the way they think and react to others.


Paranoia takes over and trust erodes. They cannot trust what friends tell them or even what their spouse tells them anymore. They cannot trust strangers. When it's the government they cannot trust, it hits them like a knife in the back.


Imagine if you served your country, followed orders, did what you would not do of your own accord for the sake of others, risked your life and ended up finding that the war came home with you, but the government decided to ignore all of it. They ignore what they promised you to take care of your wounds and provide for your family when you were not able to. This would cause a deeper wound within you as well as resentment. It would eat you away. It would make any shred of hope within you evaporate. You would find it unnecessary to wake up in the morning because everyday would be one more never ending nightmare.


For too many, PTSD has been allowed to fester like gangrene on their soul. Every relationship they had begins to fall apart. They are blamed for all the turmoil in the family and financial difficulty. They are blamed for drinking too much or turning to drugs to kill off feelings they can no longer bear on their own. They are then abandoned by family and friends they used to have before the wound of PTSD took control over their lives.


Abandoned by the government they thought they could trust, by family they thought would love them no matter what, friends they thought they could trust, what's left? Faith? Faith in what or whom? Faith in God? Could you hold onto faith in God when everyone has turned their back on you? Could you hold onto faith when you believe that you've been judged and are being punished for what you had to do? Wouldn't you wonder where God is when everything is happening to you and inside of you without anything or anyone coming to help you? Pretty impossible when you think of all that is involved in claims denied or trapped in a backlog with hundreds of thousands of others reduced from human to a number.


When claims are denied while the veteran carries the wound inside of them, it entraps every part of the veteran's life. There is nothing that is not being consumed by PTSD. This is a battle against evil for the sake of the good but the good end up being disarmed by everything that comes with PTSD.


First came denial. They were told they could train their brains to deal with the traumas they would face in combat. They were told that only the weak would fall prey to the wound of the mind. They were told this by people without a clue that it is not really a wound to the mind and that the mind cannot be trained to do something it was never intended to do. PTSD is a wound to the soul. It is a wound that strikes the sensitive and sets off changes in how the mind functions protecting itself from further harm. If they are changed by trauma it has to be their fault. Unable to think of themselves as weak, they believe they can get over it if they try hard enough. After all, they know they are not weak and they know they are not a coward. They know they are just as strong as everyone else they served with. They'll just have to get over it, bury it inside of themselves and never allow anyone to see their wound. There can't be anything "wrong" with them.


Then comes anger. They can't get over it. They can't stop the flashbacks and nightmares. They can't calm their nerves. They are quick to react with anger because that is a sign of "toughness" masking the pain inside. They get angry with themselves because they cannot move on the way everyone else they know did. They take out what they see as their own weakness on everyone around them. They push friends away and disconnect from family as walls are being built brick by brick around their soul.


When someone finally gets to them to help them heal, when they finally understand PTSD is not a sign of weakness and it is not their fault, they must find the courage to seek help. They need to talk to strangers about what is in their hidden world of pain. The walls begin to come down because relief restores hope of healing but soon they discover the same government they risked their life for is denying ownership of everything that is happening to them. Claims are denied. They are chastised for being weak by commanders. They are punished for drinking or doing drugs to relieve the pain. They are discharged with the wound disregarded. They are told they will no longer have their base housing. They are told they will no longer have their basic needs taken care of. They are told they are no longer worthy of any of it and they are told their service to the nation is no longer needed. They have lost everything they had including themselves.


When PTSD is disregarded until they become a combat veteran civilian, they arrive at a point where they are able to seek help from the VA. They know they can no longer function on a job because of the gangrene of their soul, nightmares robbing them of rest and flashbacks draining them of strength. They turn to the VA to be treated so they can heal and financially compensated for when they cannot work but end up being told whatever is happening to them is not the fault of the government. They find their claims denied and any responsibility the VA doctors tell them belongs to the government is ignored by the government.


This is what we face when we finally get to them. This is what we face when we finally get them to the point where they understand PTSD is a normal reaction to the abnormal world of combat. How can we offer them any hope of healing when it is being denied and their lives are still falling apart? How can we tell them the devastation of their lives goes on with these denied claims but they need the government to treat them?


I can come up with videos to get them to understand PTSD is a wound. I can email back and forth with them and their families until my fingers are ready to fall off but all the education I can offer, all the hope I can demonstrate from coming thru the darkness in my own family, will do them virtually little good when the help they need is being denied to them.


I cannot replace hope when it is being denied by someone else. I cannot tell them to trust the VA or the DOD to take care of them when they are telling them "no" all the time. All the hope that is there for them is impossible for them to get to when doors are shut and they are told the responsibility for their state of life belongs to someone else.


It's time we paid the IOU we gave them the day they were sent to serve. It's time the DOD stopped telling them they can train their brain to be tough enough to take it when it is their soul that is attacked by the horrors of combat. Stop doing the same research that was done 30 years ago. Stop asking the same people the same questions settling for the same answers they heard 30 years ago.



We still owe Vietnam veterans the truth. We still owe them the knowledge they were denied over 30 years ago and compensate them for the wounds they brought home with them. It’s too late to save most of their families from falling apart but it’s not too late to restore relationships they had. In many cases it’s too late to save the homes they lost because they couldn’t earn income to cover their mortgages as PTSD claimed more parts of their lives but we can provide them with the compensation to secure their futures. In doing so, we will honor the debt that should have been pain long ago but we will also restore within them the belief their service was honored, their sacrifice was worth it because this country honored it.

Vietnam Veterans Day is March 29. The last accountable death was in May of 1975 but the fatalities truly connected to the Vietnam War are still happening today. They die from Agent Orange exposure related illnesses. They die on the streets and in shelters across this nation. They still die from reaching for alcohol and drugs to cope with untreated wounds. They die when they can no longer find the strength to carry the burden their service caused by their own hand. None of their deaths are counted as the price paid by them. We need to get this right for them and stop ignoring them within the growing numbers of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan flooding the system seeking the same help that was not available when Vietnam veterans came home. None of the accomplishments reached for veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder would have been begun had it not been for Vietnam Veterans fighting for it and all other veterans.


We can build them monuments from coast to coast but if we do not honor the living monuments of sacrifice to this nation they are all reduced to hunks of rock. We can give them parades and all the flags in the world, but until their sacrifice to that flag is truly honored, they are all empty gestures. We can place all the flowers we want at their graves but until we honor all the living the lives already gone will have disregarded.


As we try as a nation to honor the IOU to the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, we must pay the original debt we owed to the Vietnam Veterans. This is not an option. Taking care of them is not something that can be put off any longer or we further assault their service to this nation. We further deny them justice. We further allow them to pay a price for a debt we owed to them.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Vietnam Veterans Day Officially Declared Today

It’s Official: March 29th to be permanently recognized as National Vietnam War Veterans Day


WASHINGTON, D.C.– Bipartisan legislation authored by Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) permanently designating March 29th as National Vietnam War Veterans Day has been signed into law by President Trump.

The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act represents the first federal statute recognizing the bravery and sacrifice of veterans who served during the Vietnam War.

“In many cases, Vietnam veterans did not receive the warm welcome they earned when they came home,” said Sen. Toomey. 


Monday, March 21, 2016

Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day in West Virginia

Vietnam vets welcomed at area ceremony
The Register-Herald
By Charles Boothe
March 21, 2016

PRINCETON — Area residents and state and local dignitaries showed their appreciation of Vietnam veterans Sunday afternoon at a ceremony at the Memorial Building in Princeton.

The third annual Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day Ceremony was held to “welcome home, honor and recognize Vietnam veterans,” said Marie Blackwell, a member of the ceremony’s organizing committee.

Blackwell said those veterans were “never given that recognition” during and right after they served, and she also drew attention to the more than 58,000 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the more than 300,000 injured.

“We honor these brave men and women and their families,” she said.

The ceremony is part of a broader statewide recognition leading up to March 30, which is Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day in West Virginia.

Col. Daniel Bochicchio, M.D., interim director at the VA Medical Center in Beckley, said he has a “great respect for veterans who served in combat zones.

“I appreciate your sacrifices,” he told the veterans, and he offered to help in any way he could to make their lives better.

West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, one of the guest speakers, told the veterans that two simple words, “welcome home,” mean “so much,” but Vietnam veterans were not given that courtesy and respect.
read more here

Monday, March 30, 2015

Vietnam Veterans Day From Coast to Coast

Massachusetts
Taunton Vietnam veterans group holds POW/MIA ceremony
Wicked Local
Marc Larocque
March 29, 2015

Members of the POW/MIA awareness movement, including a faithful group of Vietnam veterans in the Taunton area, have helped foster governmental and societal responsibility toward families of U.S. service members who go missing during war, said the president of the Massachusetts Vigil Society.

Dan Golden was the keynote speaker at the 33rd annual POW/MIA Remembrance Day Ceremony on Sunday at the Vietnam Memorial Fountain downtown on Church Green. The event has been organized each year by the Taunton Area Vietnam Veterans Association to remember the 39 Massachusetts servicemen and 1,637 others nationwide whose remains were never returned from the battlefields of Southeast Asia.
read more here

Springfield ceremonies remember Vietnam veterans 
The first salute at the Vietnam Veterans’ monument at Mason Square
WWLP 22 News
By Sy Becker
Published: March 29, 2015
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – April will mark the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam. 

Two solemn ceremonies were held in Springfield Sunday as Vietnam veterans honored their fallen comrades.

The first salute at the Vietnam Veterans’ monument at Mason Square, where African American veterans of the Winchester Square Vietnam Era Veterans honored the soldiers who never came home, many they had known all their lives.
read more here
Springfield commemorates Vietnam Veterans Day 2015
MassLive
Elizabeth Roman
March 29, 2015
Springfield- Local leaders including Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal commemorate the Vietnam Veterans Day in Springfield.
(ELIZABETH ROMAN/ THE REPUBLICAN)

SPRINGFIELD — For more than 25 years local leaders and veterans have gathered at Court Square in honor of those who served and those who died during the Vietnam War.

A ceremony was held Sunday afternoon featuring the reading of the names of those killed or missing in action as well as laying a wreath at the Vietnam Memorial. The event included various speakers including newly appointed Massachusetts Secretary of Veterans Affairs Francisco Urena who is a Purple Heart Marine, Springfield Veteran of the Year Ronald Krupke, U.S. Rep Richard E. Neal, Dr. Samuel J. Mazza, who served as a trauma surgeon during the Vietnam War, and more.
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Delaware
There are a lot of great videos on this page for Vietnam veterans.
Vietnam veterans honored at ceremony in Bristol Twp.
Bucks County Courier Times
Elizabeth Fisher
March 30, 2015
Chloe Elmer/Staff Photographer
Vietnam vets
America, Hose, Hook, and Ladder Company No. 2 Fire n Bristol Borough Chief and Desert Storm veteran David Pearl shares a moment with Jesse Hill, treasurer of the Delaware Valley Vietnam Veterans, after he thanked him in a speech during The Delaware Valley Vietnam Veterans event from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 29, 2015 at their Bristol Township Headquarters to honor veterans on the March 29, 1973 anniversary of the last U.S. troops to leave Vietnam. The group will also celebrate their 8th anniversary at the headquarters. Attendees were also given a K-9 demonstration from Falls and Bristol Township police officers, in honor of the K-9 Working Dogs Veterans Day, which was March 13.

Veterans from all service branches saluted as the American flag and the black-and-white POW-MIA flag were hoisted. A three-gun salute followed at a ceremony Sunday at the headquarters of the Delaware Valley Vietnam Veterans in Bristol Township.

The occasion was a ceremony to mark the 42nd anniversary of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam, signaling the end of a 10-year conflict and North Vietnam’s release of what it claimed were the last of its American prisoners of war. It would be four more years before the last of the American troops came home.

Among the attendees was Dennis Parr, a Bristol resident who served in the U.S. Navy from 1969-1973. The ceremony was particularly poignant for him because of the many friends he lost in battle, and the fact that his son, Riccardo, served two tours in Iraq as a Marine hospital corpsman.
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Virginia
Vietnam veterans honored for courage, service at Lynchburg commemoration
News Advance
Katrina Dix
March 28, 2015

The first U.S. combat troops arrived in Vietnam 50 years ago this month, but the conflict claimed one of Lynchburg’s own more than a year earlier, when Lt. Kenneth Shannon died after his helicopter was shot down over South Vietnam on March 15, 1964, just five days after his arrival overseas.

At a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War at the American Legion Post 16 Saturday afternoon, veterans who served with him or even went to college with him greeted his widow, Ginger Shannon-Young, who moved back to Lynchburg about four years ago.

Some were saying hello for the first time in almost 50 years; others, for the first time ever.
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Tennessee
Vietnam Veterans Day
WDEF News
March 29, 2015


Knoxville, TN (WDEF)- Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder announced March 29th will now be known as Vietnam Veterans Day.

The day is to recognize the courage, service and sacrifice of the men and women who served during the Vietnam War.
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Missouri
Missouri honors Vietnam veterans today
KMA Land
Special to KMA -- Mona Shand
March 30, 2015

(Jefferson City) -- It's been nearly 40 years since the official end of the Vietnam War and today Missouri honors the sacrifices of all those who served in the conflict. Many Vietnam veterans came home to find the country in the midst of the anti-establishment, anti-war movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Daniel Bell, public information officer with the Missouri Veterans Commission, says today's observance of Vietnam Veterans Day gives Missourians a chance to make up for the past.

"Vietnam veterans were not welcomed home in the same manner that your World War II, Korea, and your current returning veterans were treated," says Bell. "This is just a way of recognizing their sacrifices and their service to our country."
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Alaska
Vietnam Veterans Day honors Alaskans who served
News Miner
By Weston Morrow
March 30, 2015
ERIN CORNELIUSSEN/FAIRBANKS DAILY NEWS-MINER
Vietnam Veterans Day
Veterans and audience members listen to a panel discussion during a Vietnam Veterans Day program at Randy Smith Middle School on Sunday, March 29, 2015.

FAIRBANKS — Veterans, active-duty military members and community members gathered in the gymnasium at Randy Smith Middle School on Sunday to honor the service of Alaska’s many Vietnam veterans.

The event Sunday was timed purposefully to fall on March 29 — a date that commemorates the withdrawal of the last United States troops from Vietnam in 1973. Forty years later, in 2013, the Alaska Legislature declared March 29 to serve from then on as Vietnam Veterans Day, “to acknowledge and commemorate the military service of American men and women in Vietnam.”
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Friday, March 27, 2015

Utah Remembers Vietnam Veterans Day

Utah Vietnam Veterans Day: Remembering and honoring those who have served 
Daily Herald
Cathy Alfred
March 27, 2015
When we came home, nobody said nothing, and they made all kinds of foul remarks about it,” Robinette said of his military service. “Even my friends made derogatory remarks."
HIGHLAND -- Dennis Callanta is a Vietnam veteran. He knows how to fight in the hot, humid jungle, has felt the effects of Agent Orange, has seen the horrors of battle, and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. “I like to call it PTSI for post-traumatic stress injury,” Callanta said.

On Monday, the state of Utah will observe its first Vietnam Veterans Day, a tribute to those who fought and served in the Vietnam War.

President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Vietnam Veterans Day on April 23, 1976.

Since then, several states have declared their own Vietnam Veterans Day, usually on March 29 because it is the date the last American combat troops left Vietnam in 1973.
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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Vietnam Veterans Monument Dedication in Texas

3/29/2014 - TEXAS STATE CAPITOL
Gov. Rick Perry today paid tribute to Texas veterans who served or gave their lives in the Vietnam War at the unveiling and dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Monument on the Texas State Capitol Grounds.

The ceremony was held on Texas Vietnam Veterans Day, which marks the anniversary of the day the last American combat troops left Vietnam.

Presidential Proclamation -- Vietnam Veterans Day

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


VIETNAM WAR FACTS

THE FIRST KNOWN CASUALTY
Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, Mass. is listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having a casualty date of June 8, 1956.

His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who has a casualty date of Sept. 7, 1965.


WHAT ARE THE DATES ON THE WALL?

The first casualty names inscribed were Dale R. Buis and Chester R. Ovnard (this name was a misspelling, it should have read Ovnand) were military advisors, killed on July 8th, 1959 in Bienhoa, while watching a movie in the mess tent. The light had been turned on to change the movie reel and that is when snipers opened fire. The name of the movie was "The Tattered Dress", starring Jeanne Crain.

Although 1959 is marked as the beginning on Panel 1, East wall, a Captain (Army) Harry G. Cramer was killed 21 October 1957 during a training action. He is listed on line 78, panel 1, East wall, which was added approximately a year after the Memorial was dedicated.

1975 was the year that the last 18 casualties (Daniel A. Benedett, Lynn Blessing, Walter Boyd, Gregory S. Copenhaver, Andres Garcia, Bernard Gause, Jr., Gary L. Hall, Joseph N. Hargrove, James J. Jacques, Ashton N. Loney, Ronald J. Manning, Danny G. Marshall, James R. Maxwell, Richard W. Rivenburgh, Elwood E. Rumbaugh, Antonio Ramos Sandovall, Kelton R. Turner, Richard Vande Geer) occurred on May 15th during the recapture of the freighter MAYAGUEZ and its crew.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Two die in speedway motorcycle crash after Vietnam vet event

Two die in speedway motorcycle crash after Vietnam vet event
 By: Charlotte Observer
 McClatchy Tribune News Service
 Published: April 02, 2012
 CONCORD -- Two people died and one remained in critical condition late Sunday following a motorcycle wreck Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway. About 5 p.m., shortly after the day-long Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration in Concord ended, two motorcycles crashed into each other on the speedway’s track, Concord police said. Three people were hurt in the collision, and all were rushed to area hospitals.

 Both drivers died a short time later, police said, and the third person remained hospitalized, police said. Concord police have not released the names of the three victims, although they said that none of them are from the Charlotte area. Adrian Parker, director of communications for the speedway, declined to release details of how the collision happened, saying that was part of the Concord police investigation. He also wouldn’t say whether the speedway would review its safety procedures or how it would plan to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. read more here

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Vietnam vets to be officially welcomed home Saturday

Vietnam vets to be officially welcomed home Saturday
Updated: Mar 30, 2012 6:18 PM EDT
By Steve Crump, Reporter
HARRISBURG, NC (WBTV) - Thousands of eyes will be focused on the big infield stage at Charlotte Motor Speedway, for this weekend's Vietnam Veteran's Homecoming Celebration. However, expect moving moments to be delivered by etched words in small print.

On hand will be a replica of the Vietnam War Memorial that's found in our nation's capitol. It has the names of more than 58 thousand veterans who lost their lives in that conflict, but these days there's a different kind of pain.

Vietnam era veteran Keith Arbuckle is part of the Patriot Guard Riders that travels with the exhibit, and is grateful for the overdue greetings of gratitude. "Knowing so many Vietnam veterans to see what they go through, and they have a lot of pain, "he said. "So much anger that's been bottled up. They've had to go through this for 30 something years. "It's never too late." read more here
Vietnam veterans to be officially welcomed home Saturday 3:21

Gulf Coast Vietnam Veterans Salute

Gulf Coast Vietnam Veterans Salute
 Published : Saturday, 31 Mar 2012

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The public is invited to participate in the Gulf Coast Vietnam Veterans Salute honoring Vietnam & Vietnam Era Veterans who live along the Gulf Coast. The community celebration provides a unique opportunity for community groups, faith-based groups, and local businesses to express their respect and appreciation for Vietnam Veterans.

The event offers many ways for Vietnam Veterans to enjoy connecting with their fellow Veterans. Civilians are encouraged to participate by lining Government Street in downtown Mobile to cheer for the Rolling Thunder Honor Ride Parade. After the Honor Ride Parade, the community is invited to join the Vietnam Veterans and their families for the opening ceremony and special activities at Battleship Memorial Park. The celebration, which is free, will be held in the area just outside the museum. read more here

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Veterans come to the rescue to save the 'day'

Veterans come to the rescue to save the 'day'

By Sandra T. Molina, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/03/2012

WHITTIER - A little more than a week ago, Vietnam veteran Jose Ramos said "the hell with it" to celebrating Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day this month.
The remark erupted from a deep frustration.

There was no money to have the event he founded and was passed into state law in 2009.

"Usually by the middle of February, I have the money in place," Ramos said. "But this year, there was no money at all except for the $800 that was raised at last year's event. I knew I was in trouble."

Ramos, 64, "ranted and raved" for about an hour after making the decision.

"My wife finally told me to calm down," he laughed.

Sylvia, his wife of 45 years, reminded him that thousands of people, including those from Texas and Nevada, were coming to the event.

"She told me, `It's too important to you,"' Ramos said.
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