A tribute to Vietnam servicemembers

Featured in Veterans Day
A tribute to Vietnam servicemembers

November marks Veterans Day and the 30th anniversary of the completion of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. In commemoration, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) is conducting a special 65-hour ceremony to recognize the fallen and missing in action.

From Nov. 7-10 at the memorial site, volunteers will read the names of the 52,282 servicemembers inscribed on The Wall. This will be only the fifth time in The Wall’s history that the reading of the names has occurred. And on Nov. 11, VVMF will conduct its annual Veterans Day ceremony at the memorial site. Visit www.vvmf.org/Ceremonies for more details.

Additionally, VVMF is conducting a nationwide "thank you" tribute to Vietnam veterans with its video project. It’s asking individuals and groups, such as Legion posts, to videotape themselves reading the names of servicemembers on The Wall who have local or personal ties to them. To find names on The Wall by state, visit www.vvmf.org/names-by-state.

VVMF is also expanding its video project to include the names of veterans who have died from Vietnam-related causes, such as Agent Orange, but do not meet the Department of Defense requirements for inclusion on The Wall.

Videos should be sent to vvmf_n6z3@sendtodropbox.com and will be posted on VVMF’s website and Facebook page. See more information here.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund was established in 1979 and is dedicated to preserving the legacy of The Wall, keeping veterans’ stories alive and educating America on the impact the war had on servicemembers and their families. Meanwhile, this past Memorial Day during a ceremony at The Wall, President Obama proclaimed May 28, 2012, through Nov. 11, 2025, as the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.

 

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abbyjoy

October 26, 2012 - 2:09pm

I just want to know if the Feds will ever release funds as identified by law for US soldiers that were victims of Agent Orange. Do we have to cleanse all of North and South Vietnam before Washington DC will take care of our own? We as citizens should have learned from the testing of the atom bomb how long it takes our Govt to compensate those that really did sacrifice their all for this nation. Sorry, but apologies and parades are B. S. Hang in there guys, maybe in the next 40 years there will be funds available that you can pass on to your families. Pissed off citizen soldier.

Rockymm49

October 25, 2012 - 9:13am

I recognize how important it is that NO Veteran, no matter what war they served in, should ever be forgotten, and worse yet, to be treated totally different when it comes to educational benefits, either for themselves, or their spouse, or their children. I also think, that to discriminate or place Veterans of each war at odds with each other, because "some wars" are more "liked" than others, and some Veterans are treated with respect for the very same sacrifice that every Combat Veteran has routinely made in service to their country in causes that some people in our country did not like then, any more than they like now. I am glad to see that there are some people in our country who are trying to show that they recognize the sacrifice that anyone makes in any military unit, in a Combat Zone, and in a Combat occupational job. But I have a question for those in the Service Organizations, who apparently saw nothing wrong in giving the children of 100% Disabled Combat Veterans of the Viet Nam War less money, and seem to have approved the much lower stipend for the Viet Nam Veterans children, and approved the government's decision to make that financial ideology come to pass, with little to no opposition by the Service Organizations Personnel. Now I know that we did NOT get welcomed home (except by anti-war protestors on the tarmac of the San Francisco International Airport). I did not expect that, and would have felt completely uncomfortable, because my generation of Veterans down-play everything about their war experiences, and their "coming home" experiences. And I will admit that when someone tells me thanks, I really wonder why it took so long to realize that we did not have the vote during those days, and we just did our jobs, with Duty, Service and Honor, and do not consider ourselves as "heroes", for doing our jobs as we were trained for, in the best possible way that we could, despite the stupidity of the tactics and strategy that was used in our war. And I am sure that the person I heard on an advertisement recently, "the most severe wounds of any Combat Veteran, is to be forgotten". I am sure that none of those people who served in Korea, has ever gone out and sought out people to pat them on the back, and walk away just to forget that veteran, and hope not to have to run into any more who have been forgotten, or who have been blamed for the Viet Nam War, "because if we decided NOT to go, then their could be no war". And I am just as certain that President Obama, with suggestions from his friend, the co-founder of the most vicious, violent, bombers, and killers of police officers, as they went about burning or bombing police cars, Officer's Clubs, National Guard Armories, stealing all of the automatic rifles, grenades, grenade launchers, C-4, ammunition and even flak-jackets. That anti-war group was called "The Weathermen". I would like to also point out, that our war was not exactly some place you would want to go back to, because a soldier has only a certain amount of luck, along with his training, in order to make it home. In about 8 years of war in Iraq. and about 11 years of war in Afghanistan, the casualty rate (KIA) is just now approaching the 8,000 mark. Not to belabor the issue, but the Viet Nam war killed over 50,000 veterans. So, I have been told, it is because it is an 'all volunteer military" now. My answer is, tens of thousands of young people volunteered to go into the military, and to go the Viet Nam war as well. So that begs the question, just why are these two wars payed more to the children of 100% Combat Veterans, but did not even bring the 100% Disabled Viet Nam Veterans childrens benefits up to a level that would match with the higher education costs today, than they were 40+ years ago. There is nothing more I can say about this, except that it may happen to you as well, when there is open hostility and no real idea anymore about the death of those who went to the Viet Nam War, or to your wars. I do think that the people of America are trying to make up for their total lack of support for the Viet Nam Veterans, and even the Veterans Administration did all that they could to outright deny anything that could have been diagnosed as PTSD, and actually became our worst enemies because of their lack of understanding, or even some empathy for what we went through, and like me, have been fighting for over 31 years now, for the Veterans Adjudication personnel to right a wrong that was done back then. It is also necessary to point out, that the Social Security Disability Income that they approved for me, going back to 1981, used the very same medical and military records that were in possession of the Veterans Administration, because I could not afford any private care, so I was left with hoping that once the SSDI was given (100% for a combined list of medical problems, and diagnosed me with PTSD "Severe", Major Depression due to dysthimia, severe,and recognized that my DD214 was not just a medical discharge, but was a Medical Retirement, Honorable, for my back-injury, that both the Military and SSDI also felt it was both chronic and severe. So, if you believe that the discrimination with the benefits we all earned doing the very same thing, some of us with considerably more combat experience, that anyone in the military has since had to face. Don't get me wrong, I both admire, and respect more than any words I could say, for those who served over the past 20+ years, are just as honorable, and due all the respect anyone should get for being willing to risk their lives, so that Americans will never forget the most important document that sets us apart from ALL other nations, The Constitution of the United States of America. The single most inspired and beloved by the masses of our country, but that some political parties think is not relevant any more. Well I hope you continue to prove those people, how really far off they are from the regular, working people of America. It is really sad to see and hear that there are those who openly, and defiantly, break the Oath of Office that they took, and then showed how much they felt offended because people were asking why, if they believe the Constitution is not relevant in today's culture, why did they take it in the first place?

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