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Montana Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, March 29, 2019

 

March 27, 2019



FORT HARRISON/ HELENA, MT,--March 15, 2019

For Immediate Release

Montana, a Proud Partner with The U.S.A. Vietnam War Commemoration, is Commemorating Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day on March 29, 2019 throughout the State.

This is a Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemorative Event sponsored by the Montana Governor’s Office, the Montana Department of Military Affairs, the Montana Military Museum, American Legion Post #2 (Lewis & Clark Post), the Oro Fino Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Veterans Administration (See http://www.vietnam50th.org.) “Proud partner(s) with The U.S. A. Vietnam War Commemoration”.

In 2011, the United States Senate passed a congressional measure recognizing the 30 of March 2011, and every year to follow as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.

Also 2011 the 62nd Montana Legislature enacted into law House Bill 255, entitled, “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day”. The act established that annually on March 30th that Montana should recognize and thank our Vietnam Veterans.

Montana state/community level event(s) are encouraged to recognize the over 36,000 Montana men and women who served in the Republic of Vietnam from 1959-1975.

Up-Date: On March 28, 2017 Public Law 115-15 was enacted to recognize the “Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017” to encourage the display of the flag of the United States of America on National Vietnam Veterans Day on March 29 each year.

Helena Area Activities: A program is scheduled to be conducted at the Montana State Capital Complex on March 29th, 2019. This program will be a combination of Veterans Honor Walk around the Capital Complex followed by a Ceremony at the Freedom Tree where the Vietnam POW-MIA plaque, re-dedicated on September 16th, 2015, is located.

Command Sergeant Major Robert Bennett, US Army Retired, who served as the Montana National Guard Command Sergeant Major has accepted the call to be the keynote speaker. CSM Bennett is a Vietnam Veteran having serving as a Attack Helicopter Crew Chief, 336th Assault Helicopter Company, South Vietnam 1968-69. Bennett returned to serve in the Montana Army National Guard Aviation community from 1972 to his retirement in 2009. Come and help us recognize our Vietnam Veterans, Families.

The Proclamation plus letters from the Governor, Congressional and local support to be read. Vietnam Veterans, Gold Star Families, POW-MIA families’ who have not yet received an 50th Anniversary Pin can do so by asking the Hon0r Walk Marshall’s.

268 Montana men paid the ultimate price either killed in action (KIA) or died from non-hostile causes during this period. Twenty-two (22) Montanans were recognized as Prisoners of War (POW) and/or Missing in Action (MIA). Today five of our Montana POW/MIA’s have been returned home and efforts to locate and return the remainder go on day by day

Currently there are approximately 32,300 Vietnam men and women veterans who call Montana home. This is as of September 2018 (reference VA.Gov statistics). This number includes Vietnam veterans who have moved to the Big Sky after the close of the Vietnam Conflict.

Schedule of Events: 1000-1030 – Gather at the Veterans and Pioneers Building (Montana Historical Society corner of Roberts and 6th Avenue East. At 1030 hours the Honor Walk will progress west in front of the State Capital to North Montana. Turning south the Honor Walk will continue on Montana Avenue to Lockey Avenue; Turning east on Lockey Avenue, the Walk proceeds to the southeast corner of the Capital building (Freedom Tree/POW-MIA Memorial site) where the Ceremony will be held.

The Ceremony will start at 1100 hours. The Ceremonial site is located outdoors so dress appropriately. In case of inclement weather the actual ceremony will be moved into the Mazurek Justice Center Atrium.

Background: This date was chosen based on the language of the 1973 Vietnam Peace Accords, in where the United States agreed to remove the remaining military units from the Republic of Vietnam within 60 days of signing that document. Approximately 5,500 personnel remained in Vietnam on March 29th, 1973. Based on travel, March 30th was the projected arrival date in the US.

Montana state/community level event(s) are encouraged to recognize the over 36,000 Montana men and women who served in the Republic of Vietnam from 1959-1975. 268 Montana men paid the ultimate price either killed in action (KIA) or died from non-hostile causes during this period. Twenty-two (22) Montanans were recognized as Prisoners of War (POW) and/or Missing in Action (MIA). Today five of our Montana POW/MIA’s have been returned home and efforts to locate and return the remainder go on day by day.

Questions: Call 406-235-0290/406-458-9847

 
 

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