When Vietnam veterans returned to the United States, there were no welcome home ceremonies at airports or other public places as is the case today. To remedy that, the Vietnam War Commemoration was established by the President and Congress.
The program commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and aims to thank and honor Vietnam veterans through the use of Commemorative Partners who set up events throughout the community.
On Saturday, Oct. 27, more than 90 people attended a Vietnam War Commemoration pinning ceremony hosted by Humana, a leading health and well-being partner and Commemorative Partner, and VFW Post #7968 & Auxiliary held at the post in Apache Junction.
Meant to serve as a “welcome home” ceremony, the event publicly acknowledged the military service and sacrifices made by these veterans and their families, during the Vietnam War.
More than 40 Vietnam veterans were presented with Vietnam War Veteran lapel pins, a key component of the Vietnam War Commemoration program, signifying a token of gratitude for their service. The pins were presented by Humana employees and members of the community who personally thanked each veteran for their service.
In addition to the pinning, several members of the community spoke, including Major General Jim Jackson, the Director of the Vietnam War Commemoration program, who flew in from Washington, D.C. to be part of the ceremony; Apache Junction Mayor Jeff Serdy; and Humana Sales Director Steve Stedman and Sales Manager Donna Bell. A representative from Congressman Andy Bigg’s (R-AZ5) office presented each veterans with a letter from the Congressman as they were pinned.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 9 million Americans served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War; approximately 7 million are living today.
Following the ceremony, the community was invited to participate in a veterans health and service fair. Local area veterans organizations were present and shared resources and information with community members.
To learn more, visit www.vietnamwar50th.com.
Photo above: VFW Post #7968 Commander Daniel Greene pins Jan Snyder, whose late husband served in Vietnam.