National Vietnam War Veterans Day – March 29
Published On: March 29th, 2022|509 words|1.7 min read
Hans Petersen is senior writer/editor for Digital Media, VHA Office of Communications. An Air Force Veteran, Hans also served two years in the Peace Corps and worked for 20 years in broadcasting before joining VA.
VA is privileged to honor Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.
We will never again confuse personal disapproval of war with prejudice against those who honorably wear the uniform of our Armed Forces.
Our nation pledges our enduring respect, our continuing care, and our everlasting commitment to all Vietnam Veterans.
March 29, 1973, the last U.S. combat troops departed Vietnam. It was also the day Hanoi released the last of its acknowledged prisoners of war.
Our national commemoration honors everyone who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces from November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975. No distinction is being made between Veterans who served in-country, in-theater, or who were stationed elsewhere during the Vietnam War period.
Everyone who served deserves our thanks
All were called to serve, none could self-determine where they were stationed, and all were seen in the same way by a country that could not separate the war from the warrior. Each person who served during this period earned and rightly deserves our profound thanks.
VA facilities across the country are holding special ceremonies to mark the day. Just a few:
- The Milwaukee VA Medical Center will have a ceremony at the VA Cemetery. Representatives from the Veterans Health Administration, Veterans Benefits Administration and the National Cemetery Administration will place wreaths. The ceremony will be shared with patients in the hospital on closed circuit television.
- The Beckley VA in West Virginia will have a mobile Vietnam Memorial Wall on campus this week. On Medal of Honor Day, March 25, it unveiled an additional plaque in the Medal of Honor Hallway for a Vietnam Veteran who was unintentionally left off the wall when it was installed in 2017. His relatives attended the ceremony.
- The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile Education Center, is coming to Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital. The replica will be there September 22-25 and will be open 24 hours a day and free to the public.
- The Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas, is hosting a series of mini-ceremonies on March 29 to honor and thank local Vietnam Veterans. Complying with social distancing guidelines, it will honor 10 Veterans at a time in 30-minute ceremonies. Each Veteran will be pinned with the special lapel pin from the 5oth anniversary committee and presented their presidential citation.
“All 140 slots were filled as of noon on March 10. We mailed the invitation letters to about 9,000 Veterans on February 24 and it took just 2 weeks to fill them.” Jeff Herndon, public affairs officer at the Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center.
- The Martinsburg VA will honor National Vietnam Veterans Day by highlighting one of their employees who is a Vietnam Veteran. He was a special guest on their popular Buzz Bytes podcast series to share his Vietnam experience.
- The White River Junction VA will be hosting a Facebook Live event with a panel of Vietnam Veterans discussing their experiences. Public Affairs Officer Katherine Tang will moderate.