WASHINGTON, D.C. – As a sign of appreciation for efforts to welcome home all who served during the Vietnam War, the Exchange honored the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration during a special presentation with the Exchange’s Board of Directors on June 20.
Director/CEO Tom Shull, who served in the Army during the Vietnam era, presented Commemoration leaders with a replica of an Exchange tractor-trailer featuring a special design to mark the war’s 50th anniversary.
Three trucks in the Exchange’s fleet debuted the design just before National Vietnam War Veterans Day in March and have become rolling billboards across the United States, reminding Americans to “thank and recognize a Vietnam Veteran.”
“So many of my Soldiers returned from Vietnam broken,” Shull said after transferring the replica truck to the Commemoration. “The American public didn’t understand their sacrifices—and these heroes often didn’t receive the homecoming they so rightly deserved. I think about these heroes every day. Thank you for allowing us to be a partner with you.”
Michael Rhodes, Director of Administration in the Secretary of Defense Office of the Chief Management Officer; Maj. Gen. (Retired) James Jackson, Commemoration director; and Maj. Gen. (Retired) Peter Alyward, Commemoration senior advisor; accepted the replica, which was presented on behalf of the Exchange’s 35,000 worldwide associates.
“To have the Exchange help us increase awareness has been so impactful,” Rhodes said. “You are a partner—and our partners make it happen.”
“So many of my Soldiers returned from Vietnam broken. The American public didn’t understand their sacrifices—and these heroes often didn’t receive the homecoming they so rightly deserved. I think about these heroes every day.”
-Director/CEO Tom Shull
Exchange a commemorative partner
In partnership with the Commemoration, Exchanges honored Vietnam Veterans with lapel pins during special ceremonies March 29 for National Vietnam War Veterans Day. At pinning events in communities around the world, 184,000 Vietnam Veterans were thanked that day.
The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration is a national program administered by the Office of the Secretary of Defense to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The U.S. began commemoration of the Vietnam War’s 50th anniversary in 2012 and will continue through Veterans Day 2025. More information on the program is available at www.vietnamwar50th.com.
The Exchange is a Commemorative Partner in the Commemoration’s 50th Anniversary efforts, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize Vietnam Veterans and their families for service, valor and sacrifice in conjunction with the Commemoration.
“The Exchange serves as a great partner,” Jackson said. “Our collaboration is truly special, and I look forward to what we will accomplish in the future.”