Sacrifices of Vietnam Veterans Honored at Exchanges Worldwide

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – General Manager David Swenson, far right, and associates honor Vietnam Veterans during one of the worldwide pinning events March 29.

 

Vietnam-era Veterans were honored for their sacrifices with pinning ceremonies at Exchange stores around the world and at  headquarters March 29—National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

The free lapel pins, provided in partnership with the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, are tokens of the Nation’s appreciation for these heroes, who, decades ago, did not receive the homecomings they deserved.

Doug Dixon, from Camden, S.C., spent 13 years in the Navy during the Vietnam War. He said he never received a proper thank-you for his service other than from his wife, Leah, who was a Veterans Affairs nurse.

“It was everything but ‘thank you’ when we returned to San Francisco back in 1969,” Dixon said, after receiving his pin in a ceremony at Fort Jackson. “Not a lot of thank-yous then. I left it behind me. It’s hard to believe it’s been 50 years. It seems like it was just yesterday.”

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany – Command Sgt. Maj. Micheal Sutterfield of the USAG Bavaria talks with Vietnam Vet Mario Mercado. Forty-six years ago on March 29, he was on the second-to-last plane out of Vietnam. 

Coming home ‘broken’

Exchange Director/CEO Tom Shull, a Vietnam-era Army Veteran, understands the importance of recognizing Veterans from that era for their sacrifice.

“Too many of my Soldiers came back from Vietnam broken,” Shull said. “The American public didn’t understand their sacrifices—and these heroes didn’t receive the homecoming they so rightly deserved. This is a way to thank them and extend a small measure of the gratitude they did not receive as they returned from combat.”

Marking 50th anniversary

The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration is a 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.

The Exchange is a 50th Anniversary Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, planning and conducting events and activities that recognize Vietnam Veterans and their families for service, valor and sacrifice in conjunction with the Commemoration.

Maj. Gen. (Retired) James Jackson, Commemoration director, was grateful for the Exchange’s continued partnership.

“Working with the Exchange has enabled us to greatly increase awareness,” Jackson said. “As a result, we were able to commemorate the achievements and sacrifices of deserving Vietnam Veterans today.”

Read and see more!

In this Flickr album, see pictures of pinning events at Exchanges around the world

In the Exchange History Flickr Album, see pictures and read about how the Exchange served troops in Vietnam.

Red-letter dates in Exchange Vietnam history.

Custom Exchange Truck Wrap Thanks Veterans for ‘Service and Sacrifice’

 

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4 Comments

  1. Cynthia S Collier on March 29, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    How Vietnam veterans who don’t live near an Exchange receive a pin?

    • Steve Smith on April 1, 2019 at 5:02 pm

      Ms. Collier:

      Thank you for writing to your Exchange Post.

      Veterans who are unable to come to an Exchange for a lapel pin March 29 can visit http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/events/ to find an upcoming event or Commemorative Partner in their area at http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/partners/partner_map/.Veterans who still need assistance locating an opportunity to receive a lapel pin on behalf of a grateful nation can contact the Commemoration office at 877-387-9951 or whs.vnwar50th@mail.mil.

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

  2. Pat Darby on March 30, 2019 at 7:35 pm

    Thanks to all our Veterans who have served our country keeping us safe all these years.

    We don’t say thank you enough for all you have done for our country and all you and your families have had to sacrificed for us. I will always keep you and your families in my prayers.

    • Steve Smith on April 1, 2019 at 5:03 pm

      Pat:

      Thank you for writing to your Exchange Post.

      Veterans who are unable to come to an Exchange for a lapel pin March 29 can visit http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/events/ to find an upcoming event or Commemorative Partner in their area at http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/partners/partner_map/.Veterans who still need assistance locating an opportunity to receive a lapel pin on behalf of a grateful nation can contact the Commemoration office at 877-387-9951 or whs.vnwar50th@mail.mil.

      Steve Smith
      Editor, The Exchange Post

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