By Bonnie Laiderman
As March 29 approaches, the day declared by the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as Vietnam War Commemoration Day, here are five ways to honor veterans of the Vietnam war.
The Vietnam era was one of political controversy. As a result, men and women who served during that time did not always receive the hero’s welcome they deserved.
I know. My brother was one of those veterans. That’s why this is so near to my heart.
Please consider these five ways to participate in honoring our Vietnam vets on Vietnam War Commemoration Day, March 29.
- Simply call any friend, neighbor or relative that you have that served during the Vietnam era and tell them, “I heard today is the Vietnam War Commemoration Day in honor of veterans like you who served, so I wanted to call you and thank you for your service!” Let that spark a conversation so that this veteran knows you appreciate his or her service.
- Remind a Vietnam veteran that you know that there is a special Vietnam War commemorative lapel pin that he or she is eligible to have.
- If you’re on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media, post a thank you message mentioning a Vietnam veteran that you know. Remind your Facebook friends that March 29, is Vietnam War Commemoration Day. Or hit “share” and post this article to your Facebook page and add your own comment thanking a Vietnam veteran that you know.
- If you know a Vietnam veteran in need of home care but can’t afford it, tell him or her about the VA’s Aid and Attendance pension. This is a little-known benefit for war-time veterans who do not have a service-related injury but may qualify for the benefit if they meet certain medical and financial requirements. The veteran must have served a minimum of 90 days active duty and one day during wartime with and honorable discharge. To be eligible, Vietnam era veterans must have served from August 5, 1964, to May 7, 1975. For veterans who served overseas in Vietnam, the dates are February 28, 1961, to May 7, 1975. For help with the Aid and Attendance application process, please contact us at Veterans Home Care 888-314-6075 about our VetAssist Program.
- Vistit the Wall or Donate $10 or more to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, the non-profit organization that built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (the Wall) in Washington D.C. which lists more than 58,000 names. With your help, they can fund the traveling Wall replica and crisscross the country. A travel schedule of the Wall replica is available online at VVMF.org. A full size replica of this wall is located in Perryville, Missouri. If you’re in D.C., Missouri or near the traveling Wall exhibit, pay your respects to the heroes of Vietnam.
Please join me in thanking our Vietnam veterans, especially on March 29, Vietnam War Commemoration Day.