National Vietnam War Vets Day: DeCA to recognize the service, sacrifice of Vietnam War veterans; commissaries plan to reschedule commemoration ceremonies
FORT LEE, Va. – On March 29, National Vietnam War Veterans Day, the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) will join the nation in recognizing the service of Americans who served on active duty during that era.
In past years, commissaries and exchanges hosted commemoration ceremonies. However, this year, these events are being postponed to a later date due to efforts to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
DeCA will publicize the new ceremony dates once they are set, inviting all Vietnam-era veterans who served from Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, to attend and receive a lapel pin at select stateside and overseas stores.
“The Defense Commissary Agency is proud to be a part of this national effort to thank our Vietnam-era veterans for their service and sacrifice,” said Rear Adm. (ret.) Robert J. Bianchi, DOD special assistant for commissary operations. “Later this year, many of our commissaries will host events to honor veterans who served during the Vietnam War. We also want to continue welcoming the millions of newly eligible veterans and their caregivers who are now authorized to shop on-base.”
This is the sixth year for the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration event which honors the service of living Vietnam War veterans, surviving spouses and family members on March 29, Vietnam Veterans Day.
Vietnam Veterans Day was first established by presidential proclamation in 2012 leading to the start of annual observance events in 2014. The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 further established the events as a national observance to recognize Vietnam War-era veterans for their service.
Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Brazelton, a four-time Silver Star recipient and former Vietnam War prisoner of war, reflected on the Vietnam Veteran lapel pin during the July 8, 2015, congressional ceremony.
“I have had a number of medals pinned on me in my day and this is certainly the highest ranking and the most honors I have received for any pinning ceremony,” Brazelton said. “Even though it might just be a lapel pin to a lot of people, this is like a medal to the Vietnam veterans.”
Approximately 9 million U.S. military members served on active duty during the Vietnam War era. Out of the 2.7 million U.S. service members who served in Vietnam, more than 58,000 were killed and more than 304,000 wounded.
For more information, go to vietnamwar50th.com .
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.