Thanks to local organizers, Pulaski County will have an opportunity March 29 to honor our Vietnam War veterans as part of the National Vietnam Veterans Day.
According to Carol Smith, Regent of the Count Pulaski Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), the local observance is being spearheaded by the local DAR chapter, the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, the County of Pulaski and the towns of Pulaski and Dublin.
“Businesses and organizations have the opportunity to contact the chamber or myself to be added to the list of those who want to honor Vietnam Veterans on that Thursday,” Smith said this week.
She explained that Vietnam Veterans can pick up a card at the Pulaski County Visitor’s Center in Dublin (in front of Shoney’s) beginning Friday, March 23 through March 29.
“The cards should be taken to the participating locations by the veterans on the 29th,” Smith said.
Those businesses and organizations participating in the event will provide the veterans with a gift, a service of some sort, something patriotic, a discount, a refreshment, etc.
“Anything will be appreciated,” Smith stated.
Already several locations have signed up through Smith and the Chamber. Those signed up so far, and what they plan to give veterans include:
- Home Roasted Coffee at Brunch at the Merc
- Homemade cookie at the Merc Marketplace
- Basic car wash at Autoshine Car Wash
- Flag lapel / hat pin from Pulaski County
- 10 percent “Hero” Discount from Blue Ridge Fudge Lady
- 10 percent discount for veterans from Lowe’s
- Special programs for veterans from Member One Federal Credit Union
- Free glazed donut at Olykoek
- Goodie bag from Webb Donald State Farm
- Patriotic ribbon tac pin from Ratcliffe Transportation Museum
- Refreshments and loan specials from Fast Auto Loans
- Half price haircuts from OK Barber Shop
Plus special recognitions from New River Resource Authority, Towns of Dublin and Pulaski, Pulaski County Library System, The Patriot, Bojangles in Dublin and Americare Plus.
To be added to the list, contact the Chamber at 674-1991 or Smith at the Pulaski County Library at 980-7770.
Vietnam Veterans, Smith stated, “Served our country in a difficult time and this is a good way for us to thank them for their service.”
Smith said anyone who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period of Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of duty location are eligible to participate.
Smith said there would also be a pinning ceremony at the Visitor’s Center from 2 to 4 p.m. March 29 to pin veterans who have not yet received the 50th Commemoration Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin.
Information will also be taken for the 50th Commemoration Certificates and those that have not already received a certificate will be mailed one.
According to the website for the national observance, www.vietnamwar50th.com the special day recognizes the sacrifices that veterans and their families made during the war.
It is also a day to give proper recognition to the men and women who returned home from the war and who didn’t receive a proper welcome home.
The observance has been celebrated since 1973 on either March 29 or 30 of each year through a patchwork of state resolutions. However, in 2017, the date of the holiday was set as March 29th by President Trump, and is now known officially as National Vietnam Veterans Day.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, over 8 million U.S. troops served all over the world during the Vietnam conflict. Of these 8 million soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines over 58,000 of them died in-theater.
The war was a very divisive time in the U.S. Many veterans who returned home either didn’t receive any recognition for their service, didn’t receive the proper amount of recognition or were outright protested against. These veterans would come home to a country divided over the debate about the war and many veterans had trouble readjusting to civilian life in the U.S.
As time has passed, however, public sentiment about Vietnam veterans has begun to soften. While many people still viewed the war as wrong, they now feel that veterans of that war were only doing their duty to their country. Today, many Vietnam veterans are finally receiving recognition for their service.
Honor them on March 29th!
By MIKE WILLIAMS, The Patriot