For the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and for our nation, National Vietnam War Veterans Day, March 29, is an important one. Made official through the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, we honor the great service and sacrifice of our Vietnam War veterans through ceremonies and celebrations across the nation.
From February 1961 – May 1975, more than 3,400,000 Americans served in support of the U.S military operations in Vietnam and Southeast Asia; more than 58,000 gave their lives and nearly 1,600 remain unaccounted for according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
We must not only remain dedicated to honoring and recognizing a generation of veterans to which we owe so much, but we must remember those who never returned home. We honor and remember them for their sense of duty, unselfish devotion and courageous willingness to put their country first.
It is because of their service and tenacity that VFW senior leaders recently visited Southeast Asia continuing the VFW’s tradition to travel to Vietnam to help U.S. government efforts to account for whose missing and unaccounted, in hopes of finally bringing them home.
“It’s truly humbling to be here in Vietnam with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Detachment 2, especially on this day,” said VFW National Commander Tim Borland. “While National Vietnam War Veterans Day commemorates the departure of the last American troops leaving Vietnam 50 years ago, Detachment 2’s mission is a stark reminder that today there are 1,241 U.S. service members still missing from the war here in country. We owe it to the families of those missing in action and to every Vietnam veteran that we keep pressing to fund and support DPAA’s mission until every one of the 1,579 total MIAs from the war are all accounted for.”
“We are eternally grateful for the service and sacrifice of our Vietnam War veterans,” said VFW Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief Duane Sarmiento, who is accompanying Borland on the visit. “They passed the torch of leadership of this great organization to us young generation of veterans. We will keep faith with them by honoring and understanding the legacy of the Vietnam War that effects not only them, but the country they departed 50 years ago.”
Though long overdue, on March 29 each year America recognizes each and every Vietnam veteran who did not receive the proper welcome home they earned and deserved. To all Vietnam veterans: on behalf of the approximately 1.5 million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary, thank you for your service, and welcome home.