BY WAYNE REYNOLDS
Vietnam Veterans of America is working with the Department of Defense’s 50th Anniversary Commemoration Program on events to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. As part of our efforts VVA has set aside time at the National Convention in Jacksonville to emphasize the significance of the 50th anniversary.
Friday afternoon, August 16, Retired Army Lt. Gen. Claude Kicklighter, the director of the program, will speak, and VVA will recognize all state councils that have enrolled in the commemorative partnership. We realize that some state councils already have completed the enrollment process, but we want all to do so. The Conference of State Council Presidents has committed to help each state council complete the process. In addition, I made another presentation to the CSCP during its April meeting.
The steps necessary to enroll are not complicated. The initial step is to complete the documentation to enroll your state at their website. After your enrollment is filed, you need to download the Commemorative Agreement and fax it as directed. You will receive a certificate and a commemorative flag in the mail.
Each state council should bring its certificate and flag to the National Convention for the recognition ceremony. The commemorative program is not limited to state councils. We already have state governments, VVA chapters, cities, and civic organizations participating.
The National Board of Directors was recognized for its participation in October 2012. Gov. Robert Bentley, a life member of VVA, led Alabama to be the first state to become a partner.
The Vietnam War was a seminal event in our lives and in the lives of our families. Many of us did not receive recognition when we returned home from Vietnam. Now we can commemorate the 50th anniversary of our service. President Obama has established a commission, and VVA has the opportunity to play a major role in the celebration for ourselves and for those who did not survive to be here with us.
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