Today is the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War and the 5th Anniversary of Vietnam War Veterans Day. The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 was signed into law designating every March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. It’s a fitting day in the history of the Vietnam War. Firstly, because March 29th was the day United States Military Assistance Command in Vietnam was disestablished in the year 1973. Secondly, it was also the final day U.S. combat troops departed Vietnam.  In addition, around this same time Hanoi released the last of its acknowledged prisoners of war.

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U.S. military involvement in Vietnam started slowly with an initial deployment of advisors in the early 1950s, It quickly grew through the early 1960s. Finally it expanded with full combat deployment in July of 1965. The last U.S. army personnel were evacuated from Vietnam in April of 1975.

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that there are more than 6 million U.S. Vietnam veterans living in America and abroad, along with 9 million families of those who served during this timeframe from November 1st, 1955 to May 15th, 1975.

Today across the state of Iowa 384 events with over 209 partners will take place all in honor of veterans who deserved a better return home than they received. In Wisconsin 539 events with 289 partners are planned and in Illinois another 806 with 422 partners are planned. You can join in on local events and help support the men and women who served during Vietnam. Locals who wish to donate time, money, or services can contact the Veterans Freedom Center in Dubuque, find your states local veterans organization, or visit vietnamwar50th.com.

While you are on the website Gary Sinise, who you may know from Forest Gump as Lt. Dan, has left a message of thanks to encourage and inform families who are seeking assistance.

Gary Sinise On National Vietnam War Veterans Day from Vietnam War Commemoration on Vimeo.

Again, thank you for your service all veterans and, especially today you Vietnam Veterans. Your service has earned our nations gratitude at your sacrifices and duty.

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