Veterans

April 4, 2014

Vietnam Veterans converge on Fort Irwin for tribute

A Vietnam War Veteran returns the salute of a young U.S. Naval Sea Cadet. The exchange took place at the 2014 Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Ceremony, here, March 28. Home of the National Training Center, Fort Irwin holds the ceremony each year to honor America’s Veterans. Hundreds of bikers, Veterans and members of the local community attended the event showing their appreciation for those who served.

Hundreds of Veterans, current servicemembers and local citizens converged here March 28 for the annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Ceremony.

The event, which began with a motorcycle ride of Veterans and supporters from Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, culminated with a trip through the fort’s housing area and tribute to America’s Veterans at the Fort Irwin Town Center.

“Today a grateful nation welcomes home its sons and daughters and recognizes their faithful and honorable service in Vietnam,” said Maj. Gen. Ted Martin, National Training Center commanding general, as he looked out over the crowd. “We honor you, the brave men and women gathered here today who served your country with honor and courage – you set a shining example for the men and women of the armed forces who, even today, are fighting for their country in Afghanistan.”

Guest speaker for the event William Gang, civilian aide to the secretary of the Army and a decorated Vietnam vet himself, highlighted the need for the nation to continue to honor those who have served.

Veterans and their supports ride to the Fort Irwin Town Center for the ceremony.

“I remember several months ago I was in the Atlanta airport waiting on a flight to South Africa on business and a group of our Soldiers got off the aircraft,” said Gang. “They were walking through the waiting area for on-loading passengers – the Soldiers were wearing their BDU’s (Battle Dress Uniforms), about a dozen or so of them – and all of the people in the waiting area stood and gave them a round of applause, including me. I remember thinking at the time that this was a little different then when we came home, and that’s the reason why we continue to have ceremonies like this today, to remind us Vietnam Veterans are not forgotten.”

As Gang spoke, Veterans of all ages and backgrounds looked on – many wearing patches, pins, hats and vests that signified their dates of service, the war they fought in and units assigned.

“I’ve been attending these events ever since they began,” said 65-year-old Veteran Richard Veloz, who served as a Marine in Vietnam in 1969-70. “It brings back memories for me of my younger years, plus I get to enjoy camaraderie with other Veterans and share war stories.

“It’s like therapy for me too,” Veloz continued, admitting he’s a bit introverted since his time in Vietnam. “It makes me feel good because sometimes I feel guilty that I came back alive and well. Most times I don’t talk much, but at ceremonies like this I’m able to open up.”

Now living in Hesperia, Veloz said the tribute helps him “fill in the blanks” regarding the past and his service.

“I’m grateful to Fort Irwin for holding this ceremony every year,” he said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Leslie Ozawa

New commander for U.S. Army Garrison Fort Irwin

Leslie Ozawa United States Army Garrison Fort Irwin Commander Col. G. Scott Taylor (left) receives a guidon from Thomas Schoenbeck, director of Central Region for Installation Management Command, during a change of command cere...
 
 
Tarah_and_EricHipple

Army observes Suicide Awareness Month in September

Fort Irwin to host motivational speakers In support of the nation’s observance of Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 7 -13, and World Suicide Prevention Day, Sept. 10, the United States Army focuses on a campaign about the import...
 
 
Photo courtesy of VVTA

Your bus ride just got better

Photo courtesy of VVTA The Victor Valley Transit Authority has acquired five new “luxury coaches” which will be used on the commuter routes between Hesperia, Victorville, Silver Lakes, Barstow and Fort Irwin in mid-August. ...
 

 
11th ACR

Bringing connectivity to GCSS-A in the field

11th ACR Staff Sgt. Don Nottingham from Maintenance Troop, Regimental Support Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry sets up the Very Small Aperture Terminal here, March 17. During a field training exercise March 16 to 18, here, Mainte...
 
 
Jason Miller

Commissary awards scholarship

Jason Miller From left: Stephen MacAfee, S & K Sales associate; Qahir Abdur-Rahman, Fort Irwin Commissary store director; Alex Nguyen, scholarship recipient; Michele Nguyen, Alex’s mom and; Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry Nguyen...
 
 

Get a refund for gasoline taxes

The California gasoline tax refund could save you hundreds of dollars every year. In order to maintain California’s many highways, the state taxes every gallon of fuel that you put into your car (even gas purchased on post). This is reasonable, because we all know what it is like to drive on poorly maintained roads,...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>