Monday, March 29 is 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.
The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump, designating every March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that today there are more than 6 million U.S. Vietnam veterans living in America and abroad, along with 9 million families of those who served during this timeframe.
The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration honors all veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time from Nov. 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, regardless of location.
Nov. 1, 1955 was selected to coincide with the official designation of Military Assistance Advisory Group-Vietnam (MAAG-V); May 15, 1975, marks the end of the battle precipitated by the seizure of the SS Mayaguez.
U.S. involvement in Vietnam started slowly with an initial deployment of advisers in the early 1950s, grew incrementally through the early 1960s and expanded with the deployment of full combat units in July 1965. The last U.S. personnel were evacuated from Vietnam in April 1975.
This national commemoration was authorized by Congress, established under the Secretary of Defense, and launched by the President to thank and honor our Nation’s Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.
National Vietnam War Veterans Day is a way to thank and honor our nation’s Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. Additional objectives of Vietnam Commemoration are:
* Highlight the service of our Armed Forces and support organizations during the war
* Pay tribute to wartime contributions at home by American citizens
* Highlight technology, science and medical advances made during the war
* Recognize contributions by our Allies
This year, organizers canceled or postponed many events to slow the spread of COVID-19 through social distancing. Veterans are encouraged to stay connected and participate in virtual events.
* For veterans with a Facebook account, they can download a frame to place a picture and show their pride for serving. The frame shows the Vietnam War Veteran day pin and the text “Proud Vietnam War Veteran.”
* For anyone who wants to show appreciation for Vietnam War Veterans, an additional frame can be downloaded. The frame shows the Vietnam War Commemoration logo and the text “I support Vietnam War Veterans.”
* The VA will also release two short videos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
* They will host an online commemoration March 29 with a live webcast and messages of thanks on Facebook.
Vietnam Veterans of America
* On March 29, Vietnam Veterans can share their service photos on the VVA Facebook page as the nation remembers heroes for their service and sacrifice.
* Vietnam Veterans can share their favorite C-Ration recipe or meal on the VVA Facebook page March 30. The winner with the most “Likes” will win a prize from the national office.
Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pins
* The Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin has become “a lasting memento of the Nation’s thanks.” Living U.S. Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period of November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are eligible to receive one lapel pin.
o Normally, these lapel pins are presented during a dignified, public ceremony to individual Vietnam Veterans. However, given the global pandemic, most commemorative events have been postponed, while others have been rescheduled for next year.
* As a unique alternative during this challenging period, The Vietnam War Commemoration is encouraging Vietnam Veterans to submit a request for their lapel pin via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the earliest opportunity, Veterans will receive a lapel pin in the mail.
Team RWB Vietnam War Veterans Day Challenge
* In recognition of all who served in the Vietnam War, Team RWB is offering a virtual Vietnam War Veterans Day Workout of the Day. The challenge includes exercises like squats, pushups, and a run or walk. Veterans can complete the challenge at home on their own schedule, at their own pace, alone or with a partner. Team RWB asks participants to give it their all and to pause, remembering those who served and sacrificed.
* Access the challenge through the Team RWB App or at TeamRWB.org.
For more on the Vietnam War Commemoration, visit www.vietnamwar50th.com