A MESSAGE FROM WEST VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS ASSISTANCE SECRETARY THOMPSONThank You to Vietnam Veterans
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – As a veteran who served from 1972 to 1974, I can attest to the bravery and courage displayed by my fellow patriots who defended our nation during the Vietnam era. I can also recall the challenges those honorable men and women faced as they reintegrated into American society. Now, fifty years later, I’m proud to say that West Virginia has joined the US Department of Defense and more than 7,000 public and private partners from throughout the country in an effort to show our Vietnam veterans the gratitude they so deserve.
The West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance (WVDVA) joined the United States of America Vietnam War Commemorative Partnership Program several months ago and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s Office is in the final stages of the application process. By joining, we are promising that West Virginia will host several events during the next few years to honor our Vietnam veterans.
Just last month, I had the pleasure of attending a ceremony in Alexandria, VA, at which I was recognized, along with several other Vietnam era veterans, for my service. I did not expect to be so overcome by emotion from such a simple acknowledgement, yet it proved to mean a great deal to me. I now feel even more compelled to ensure that every Vietnam veteran in West Virginia has the opportunity to experience that same feeling. Furthermore, I want the families and loved ones of those killed as a result of service in Vietnam, and of those who are still missing in action, to know how much their sacrifices are appreciated, too.
In just a few short weeks on March 30th, Vietnam Veterans Day will be observed throughout the country. WVDVA Deputy Secretary Billy Wayne Bailey and I will be participating in this day of recognition by attending the Vietnam Veterans of America’s annual celebration on the State Capitol Grounds. The event will begin at the Veterans Memorial at 11 am.
This is such an opportune time for us to come together as communities and as a state to thank our Vietnam veterans and I hope our patriotic citizens will take advantage of that. I invite all of you to join us in Charleston on March 30th, but if you can’t, please take time to observe this important day in your own hometown.
Individuals and businesses seeking more information about the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Partnership Program should visit www.vietnamwar50th.com