Honoring Vietnam Veterans on March 29

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Gaylen Blosser Photo

GREENVILLE –  On Friday morning, the Fort GreeneVille DAR was joined by the Darke County Commissioners, Greenville Mayor, Arcanum Mayor, and Vietnam Veterans from around the county to celebrate and honor Vietnam War Veterans Day.

“Fort GreeneVille Chapter DAR, a United States of America Vietnam War Commemorative Partner, is privileged to honor Vietnam veterans and their families in Darke County,” Debbi Nisonger of the Fort GreenveVille DAR said. “Today, we join thousands of communities throughout our Nation in doing just that.” 

March 29 was established as a national day to recognize Vietnam veterans through the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017. The date March 29 was selected because, on March 29, 1973, the U.S. Military Assistance Command in Vietnam was disestablished, the last U.S. combat troops departed from Vietnam, and Hanoi released the last of its acknowledged prisoners of war. March 29 is an important day for Vietnam veterans. 

The Fort GreeneVille DAR asked the Darke County Commissioners, Greenville Mayor Jeff Whitaker, and Arcanum Mayor Bonnie Millard to come up and speak. 

 “There are a lot of individuals from rural communities who give and sacrifice, go to war, and represent us to protect us in our way of life,” Commissioner Matt Aultman said. “It’s always fitting that we remember those who serve.” 

“I just want to thank all of the men and women for sticking up for America,” Commissioner Marshall Combs said. “When you heard that call to action years and years ago, you were just young kids. To give up your livelihood here at home to go to a foreign country and fight for this freedom we have here in America, I just want to thank you.” 

“This is always a special day for me,” Commissioner Larry Holmes said. “This was the war of my generation; I had an uncle who did not come back from Vietnam. These are significant events, and we thank those who served and those who currently serve. A deep-felt thanks to all of those.” 

The Commissioners’ Proclamation reads,

“Whereas, on National Vietnam War Veterans Day, we honor all those who bravely served in the Vietnam War and who sacrificed, as did their families and caregivers, on behalf of our Nation; and 

Whereas, throughout the history of our state and nation, countless brave individuals have answered the call to patriotic duty, including Vietnam veterans who endured unspeakable hardship and risked their lives fighting for the ideals of democracy; and 

Whereas, during this long and different war-one of the longest conflicts in America’s history – over 3.4 million were deployed to Southeast Asia; 2.7 million served in the designated war zone; more than 58,000 were killed; 153,000 wounded, and more than 1,600 are still unaccounted for; and 

Whereas, among the names listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C., 3,095 of those are courageous Ohioans who answered the nation’s call to serve and failed to return home; and 

Whereas, we recognize and thank all of our state’s Vietnam veterans for their service, those who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who came home physically or emotionally scarred, and those who returned home safely to their loved ones; and 

Whereas, the Darke County Commissioners recognize the service of the U.S. Armed Forces and its allies during the Vietnam War and remain grateful for their courage and valor. 

Now, Therefore, we proclaim March 29, 2024, as Vietnam War Veterans Day in Darke County.”

All Three Commissioners signed. 

“Thank you very much for all of you attending today,” Mayor Whitaker said. “Today, we want to honor the recognition of the Vietnam War veterans.” 

The Mayor presented and signed a proclamation as well. This read,  

“Whereas, the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 established the 29th day of march in perpetuity as the national day to recognize the previously unsung patriotism of our Vietnam veterans. 

Whereas, March 29 is a significant day as a day that Vietnam was disestablished, the last U.S. combat troops departed Vietnam, and the day that Hanoi released the last of its acknowledged prisoners of war.

Whereas, to ensure the sacrifice of the 9 million heroes who served during this difficult chapter of our country’s history are remembered for generations to come and reminded of the gratitude of their country. 

To honor those Americans who served, pay tribute to those who have been laid to rest, and reaffirm our dedication to show a generation of veterans the respect and support of a grateful nation. 

I, the Mayor of the City of Greenville, do hereby proclaim March 29, 2024, as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day in Greenville, Ohio. I urge all people in Greenville to participate in the vents of the day as a means of honoring these men and women who served their country faithfully and graciously during the Vietnam Conflict.” 

“I wanted to thank everyone who served,” Mayor Millard said. I appreciate everything that everyone has done for the country, and I appreciate the honor I was given to come and speak with you today. Thank you.”

The Fort GreeneVille DAR recognized the honor guard for helping in these events. The certificate they were presented reads,

“The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, The Flag of the United States of America Committee, Certificate of Award. Presented to Darke County Honor Guard for Proper Use, Correct Display, and Patriotic Presentation of the Flag of the United States of America.” 

Debbie Nisonger of the Fort GreeneVille Chapter DAR closed the event. 

“It is vital that each and every one of you Vietnam Veterans and your families understand the prominent place you now occupy in the conscience of our Nation and the high measure of esteem in which you are held by friends, neighbors, and countrymen,” Nisonger said. “Hopefully, more credence to my words are notice that Fort Greenville Chapter DAR as a Vietnam War commemorative Partner and our community hold true in saying thank you for your service.”