Tuesday, January 18, 2011

50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration

50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Commemoration

In Accordance With Public Law 110-181 SEC. 598; the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and “in conducting the commemorative program, the Secretary shall coordinate, support, and facilitate other programs and activities of the Federal Government, State and local governments, and other persons and organizations in commemoration of the Vietnam War."

The Secretary of Defense shall determine the schedule of major events and priority of efforts for the commemorative program, in order to ensure achievement of the objectives specified in Law.

The commemorative program will include activities and ceremonies to achieve the following objectives:

(1) To thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war (POW), or listed as missing in action (MIA), for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.

(2) To highlight the service of the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War and the contributions of Federal agencies and governmental and non-governmental organizations that served with, or in support of, the Armed Forces.

(3) To pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front by the people of the United States during the Vietnam War.

(4) To highlight the advances in technology, science, and medicine related to military research conducted during the Vietnam War.

(5) To recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the allies of the United States during the Vietnam War.

About the Logo
A representation of the Vietnam Service Ribbon rests atop the inner rings of the logo. "The Vietnam Service Medal is awarded to all members of the United States Armed Forces serving in Vietnam and contiguous waters or airspace thereover, and members of the Armed Forces of the United States in Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia, or the airspace thereover, during eligible periods and serving in direct support of operations in Vietnam."

The red, white, and blue inner rings represent the flag of the United States of America.

The outer black ring serves as a reminder of the prisoners of war and those missing in action.

The Great Seal at the top of the inner blue ring represents the contributions of Federal agencies, governmental and non-governmental organizations that served with, or in support of, the Armed Forces, and the contributions made on the home front by the people of the United States during the Vietnam War.

The six additional seals represent the service and dedication of the men and women of the following organizations, presented in order of precedence, left to right, top to bottom, the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, and the U.S. Merchant Marine.

The seven white stars between the seals symbolize the contributions and sacrifices made by the United States and its allies: Vietnam, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and Thailand.

The center circle contains a map of Vietnam in black, with outlines of Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand representing the contiguous territories where U.S. Armed Forces served.

The gold color of the banner and the center circle represents the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.

The laurel wreath signifies honor to all who served.

Disclaimer for External Link
The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States Department of Defense of the linked web sites, or the information, products or services contained therein.

Please let us know about existing external links which you believe are inappropriate and about specific additional external links which you believe ought to be included.

25th Infantry Division Association (Tropic Lightning)


The 25th Infantry Division Association is the dedicated to serving those who have served or are currently serving with the 25th Infantry Division, from World War II through today. It includes information on upcoming reunions, unit histories, division history, memorabilia, and links to related military sites.


An Airman's Story


"This is the epic anthology of Military Air Power. From the biplanes of WWI, to current times against global terrorism. Join me as I tell of their heroic feats of valor, an sacrifice, within these courageous stories."
-Leon J. DeLisle


Association of the United States Navy


Standing the Watch for Your Navy and YOU, AUSN is the only organization focused exclusively ons erving the enitre Navy and the only organization primarily on the welfare of the Navy people. It is know as being one of the most effective lobbying organizations for the military on Capitol Hill. Visit our website--ausn.org--and learn more


Coast Guard Combat Veterans


The Coast Guard Combat Veterans Association is a Non-Profit Association of Active Duty, Retirees, Reservists and Honorably Discharged Former Members of the U. S. Coast Guard, who served in, or provided direct support to combat situations recognized by an appropriate military award, while serving as a member of the United States Coast Guard. Established in 1985 the CGCVA is dedicated to extending knowledge of the Coast Guard’s service and participation in those significant historical events in United States history. In addition to being a fraternal organization, dedicated to fellowship among it’s membership, we provide educational scholarships, as part of our effort to support the public and to bring awareness of the United State Coast Guard’s military missions and reinforce the motto Semper Paratus, “Always Ready”




"Counterparts (Túóng Huu Ðông Nam Á) An Association of US Military and Civilian Advisors in Southeast Asia & Their Foreign Counterparts.Our purposes includes promoting an appreciation of the Advisory Experience and accomplishments to the general public, providing aid and assistance when possible to Southeast Asia’s war refugees, especially former comrades of the Vietnamese Armed Forces, Montagnard and tribal fighters, commemorating the service and sacrifice of Advisors and their Counterparts, promoting fellowship and fraternity among our members, lending encouragement and service to the orphans and relatives of former Advisors, and compiling and preserving the history of the Advisory effort in Southeast Asia. Counterparts also sponsors or participates in a number of ongoing programs in Southeast Asia to provide humanitarian aid, education and assistance to our former allies.

Counterparts also operates a nationwide locator service to assist former Advisors and their Counterparts and the families of former Advisors and their Counterparts in locating one another and renewing contacts with their comrades."


Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office


The Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office leads the U.S. government’s effort to achieve the fullest possible accounting of MIAs from the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Korean War, and World War II.


Disabled American Veterans


The 1.2 million-member Disabled American Veterans, a non-profit organization founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932, represents this nation's disabled veterans. It is dedicated to a single purpose: building better lives for our nation's disabled veterans and their families.


DUSTOFF Association


The DUSTOFF Association is a nonprofit incorporated veterans’ organization for Army Medical Department enlisted and officer personnel, aviation crewmembers, and others who are (or ever were) engaged in (or actively supported in any capacity) Army aeromedical evacuation programs in war or peace.


Fighter Pilot - The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds


Fighter Pilot: The Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin Olds was a larger-than-life hero with a towering personality. A graduate of West Point and an inductee in the National College Football Hall of Fame for his All-American performance for Army, Olds was one of the toughest college football players at the time. In WWII, Olds quickly became a top fighter pilot and squadron commander by the age of 22—and an ace with 12 aerial victories.

But it was in Vietnam where the man became a legend. He arrived in 1966 to find a dejected group of pilots and motivated them by placing himself on the flight schedule under officers junior to himself, then challenging them to train him properly because he would soon be leading them. Proving he wasn’t a WWII retread, he led the wing with aggressiveness, scoring another four confirmed kills, becoming a rare triple ace.

Olds (who retired a brigadier general and died in 2007) was a unique individual whose personal story is one of the most eagerly anticipated military books of the year. "


Marine Corps League


The Marine Corps League perpetuates the traditions and spirit of ALL Marines and Navy FMF Corpsmen, who proudly wear or who have worn the eagle, globe and anchor of the Corps. Members of the Marine Corps League join together in camaraderie and fellowship for the purpose of preserving the traditions and promoting the interests of the United States Marine Corps, banding together those who are now serving in the United States Marine Corps and those who have been honorably discharged from that service that they may effectively promote the ideals of American freedom and democracy, voluntarily aiding and rendering assistance to all Marines, FMF Corpsmen and Veteran Marines and FMF Corpsmen and to their widows and orphans; and to perpetuate the history of the United States Marine Corps and by fitting acts to observe the anniversaries of historical occasions of particular interest to Marines. Founded in 1923, the League is the only Federally Chartered Marine Corps related veterans organization in the country. Since its earliest days, the Marine Corps League has enjoyed the support and encouragement of the active duty and Reserve establishments of the U. S. Marine Corps.


Military Officers Association of America


MOAA is the nation’s largest and most influential association of active duty, National Guard, Reserve, retired, and former military officers and their families and survivors. It is an independent, nonprofit, and politically nonpartisan organization with around 370,000 members from every branch of service. MOAA promotes a strong national defense by advocating for equitable treatment of those who serve and have served their country in uniform. For more information, visit www.moaa.org.


National League of POW/MIA Families


The National League of POW/MIA Families’ sole purpose is to obtain the release of all prisoners, the fullest possible accounting for the missing and repatriation of all recoverable remains of those who died serving our nation during the Vietnam War in Southeast Asia.




EAPLS (Edgar Allan Poe Literary Society Inc. is a nonprofit incorporated veterans organization for former Raven FACs that flew in Laos during the Vietnam War. One of our main purposes is to give scholarships to qualifying descendents of a Lao or Lao-Hmong individual who served in the Royal Laotian Military or Hmong forces in defense of the Kingdom of Laos between 1960 and 1975.During the course of American history, there have been many covert military operations. None, however, reached the scope or intensity of the war in Laos during the Viet Nam era. The backbone of this war were the Ravens-Forward Air Controllers (FACs) who flew small, slow propeller driven airplanes. The mission of the Ravens was to support indigenous forces in Laos in their fight against invading forces from North Vietnam.


Rural Affairs Vietnam


Started in mid-1962 with a special $10 million fund from the Kennedy White House, this was America’s first integrated counterinsurgency program, blending local economic and social development with incentives for better local government and security. This program turned the traditional AID country effort on its head. AID/Vietnam (known as USOM) was a headquarters-focused, capital-oriented organization that worked by helping national ministries and had virtually no presence in the countryside. By contrast, a new special office, Rural Affairs, was created. It put volunteers into the provinces who lived on the local economy and were creative, problem-solving and often strikingly young, highly motivated Americans. They worked with Vietnamese on vital local needs, which included schools, wells, refugees, and improved rice and pig culture, as well as more basic issues of physical security and representative local government. The philosophy was to create a tie between villagers and government and, more basically, a greater sense of national identity and of value in belonging to the national, as opposed to Communist, side of the prolonged civil war. There was also an iconoclastic system to bring AID supplies from Saigon to the provinces when needed, unprecedented at the time and suggestive of today’s just-in-time supply procedures. And there was a new way to make funds immediately available for urgent projects in the provinces, based on decisions by a joint committee of Vietnamese and American officials at the provincial level. Over time, some Rural Affairs personnel were killed and others captured by the Vietcong and suffered greatly in captivity. The Vietnamese staff of Rural Affairs were close colleagues, strongly active in its work, and are among the most enthusiastic participants in its American reunions. Rural Affairs was succeeded by larger and more bureaucratized organizations such as the Office of Civil Operations (OCO) and Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS).


Sons and Daughters In Touch


Sons and Daughters In Touch was formed in 1990 to 'locate, unite and support the children of American servicemen who were lost, or remain missing as a result of the Vietnam War.' Since then, SDIT has established contact with more than 3000 of these now-grown children. Beginning in 1992, the organization began holding national Father's Day reunions at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial ('92, '93, '97, 2000, '05 and '10.) In 2003, more than 50 SDIT members were part of an historic delegation that traveled to Vietnam to see the places where their fathers fought and died.

In addition to fulfilling its mission, SDIT also works to share its insights and experiences with organizations committed to meeting the needs of Gold Star families who have suffered losses in our nation's current military conflicts.


The American Legion


The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest veterans service organization, committed to mentoring and sponsorship of youth programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans.


The Marine Corp Association


The Marine Corps Association is the professional association for all Marines. MCA supports the Marine Corps by providing professional development opportunities for Marines, disseminating knowledge of military art and science, and fostering the spirit and preserving the traditions of the Marine Corps. MCA publishes Leatherneck, Magazine of the Marines, and The Marine Corps Gazette, the Professional Journal of U.S. Marines. The Association’s efforts are supported by the Marine Corps Association Foundation. www.mca-marines.org"

The Mobile Riverine Force Association



The Retired Enlisted Association


The Retired Enlisted Association is the powerful voice of retired enlisted and active duty enlisted personnel from all branches of service. They are the premier source of grassroots lobbying, and the leading resource for legislative and healthcare information. They fight every day in Washington D.C. to protect and ensure the health and welfare of enlisted military personnel, and to defend the military retirement entitlements and benefits.


The Tan Son Nhut Association


The Tan Son Nhut Association has been established to respect all of those service personnel from the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard, as well as the many civilians who served at any time during the Vietnam conflict at the great airdrome at Tan Son Nhut, Air Base, Saigon, Republic of Vietnam.


The Vietnam Center & Archive at Texas Tech University


Created in 1989 by Vietnam Veterans, The Vietnam Center and Archive at Texas Tech University is home to the largest collection of Vietnam-related material outside the U.S. National Archives. Its joint missions are to support and encourage research and education regarding all aspects of the American Vietnam experience and to collect and preserve the documentary record of the Vietnam War. The Vietnam Center and Archive has collected millions of pages of material and tens of thousands of photographs, slides, maps, periodicals, audio, moving images, and books related to the Vietnam War, Indochina, and the impact of the war on the United States and Southeast Asia. Many of these materials are available online through the Virtual Vietnam Archive (http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu/virtualarchive/ ). Please visit www.vietnam.ttu.edu for more information.


The Virtual Wall


"The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC honors the 2.7 million

American women and men who served in the Vietnam War. Carved of the granite panels of ""The Wall"" are the names of the 58,267 who gave the ultimate sacrifice in that war.

The web site named The Virtual Wall(TM) has a memorial tribute page honoring each casualty.

Many tribute pages have personal remembrances in the form of photographs, letters, and poems submitted by the general public. The names of the fallen can be found on index pages by Wall panel, by State/City, by last name, and through a photographic index."


U.S. Army Center of Military History


Establish a global forum for the Center of Military History to distribute historical information and products to inform, educate and professionally develop the soldiers and leadership of the U.S. Army


United States Navy Memorial


Conveniently located on Pennsylvania Avenue - halfway between the White House and the Capitol, the United States Navy Memorial provides a living tribute to Navy people and a place for them to gather and celebrate their service. The outdoor plaza features a “Granite Sea” map of the world, towering masts with signal flags, fountain pools and waterfalls and The Lone Sailor© statue. Adjacent to the plaza is the Naval Heritage Center, where visitors can find educational displays about the contributions of the men and women of the Sea Services (Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine). Also housed in the Naval Heritage Center is the Navy Log - the online place for Navy people to stay connected with each other, celebrate their service and preserve the memories of their service. There, Navy veterans can build a record of their service online and anyone with a passion for the Navy can create and join affinity communities. Call (202) 737-2300 or visit www.navymemorial.org for more information.


US Army Heritage & Education Center


Mission: The US Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) educates a broad audience on the heritage of the U.S. Army by acquiring, preserving, and making available historical records, materials, and artifacts. USAHEC educates the Army and the public on the central role of the Army in the development and protection of our nation and its way of life. USAHEC supports the US Army War College education, research and publication, and strategic communication missions through its public programs, historical holdings, and preservation practices.


US Army Office of Medical History


"The Office of Medical History is part of the OTSG/MEDCOM History Program. Our mission is to support the men and women of the U.S. Army Medical Department and Army Medical Command through the assembly and publication of reference materials, original works, previously unpublished works, reprints, special studies, web publications, AMEDD newspaper/professional publications, and print series. The program includes the administration of a field history program as well as an oral history program for the conduct of regular interviews with key OTSG/MEDCOM active and retired personnel and provides coverage of current operations and issues with participants and decision makers."


Veterans History Project, Library of Congress


The Mission of the Veterans History Project of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center is to collect, preserve, and make accessible the personal accounts of America’s wartime veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.


Veterans of Foreign Wars


The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is a nonprofit veterans' service organization composed of combat veterans and those who currently serve in uniform on active duty or in the Guard and Reserves. Founded in 1899 and chartered by Congress in 1936, the VFW is the nation's largest organization of war veterans and its oldest major veterans' organization. With 2.1 million members located in 7,700 VFW Posts worldwide, the VFW and its Auxiliaries are dedicated to "honor the dead by helping the living"" through veterans service, legislative advocacy, youth scholarships, Buddy Poppy and national military service programs. The VFW and its Auxiliaries volunteer more than 13 million hours annually in community service to the nation.


Vets With A Mission


"Vets With A Mission was founded in 1989 and for over twenty years has implemented various humanitarian programs and projects in the country formerly known as the Republic of South Vietnam.

Over 1,600 volunteers mostly Vietnam vets have participated on medical teams, ministry teams, disaster relief, or project teams. VWAM has built or sponsored nearly 40 medical clinics or rural healthcare stations, renovated several health facilities as well as two orphanages and two churches, built one school, and shipped 36 cargo containers filled with medical equipment, disaster relief supplies, and other humanitarian aid. In addition, Vets With A Mission has established the Children’s Heart Surgery Program in Hue and Da Nang that provides life-saving procedures for special patients. Vietnam vets participate in “Reconciliation” events with former VC/NVA, and each Vietnam vet is “Honored” during the trip by non-vet team members at a special team farewell event.

VWAM is an IRS approved 501 (c) (3) non-profit charitable organization and officially recognized by the government of Vietnam as a NGO or Non-Governmental organization with a PTO or Permit to Operate in Vietnam.

Vietnam vets went to Vietnam to help the Vietnamese people, and through VWAM that commitment continues."


Vietnam Babylift


This site will not politicize Babylift. Its purpose is to gather as much information as possible about Babylift and make it available to our visitors.

It was born of a promise I made to my daughter, Heather Constance Noone / Mai Ngoc Tranh before she died on May 17, 1975. As my husband and I watched Heather's life slip away, I told her how sorry I was that medicine couldn't save her. I pledged to do whatever I could to help the world remember Babylift and her short life.

Heather was born somewhere in Vietnam circa February, 1975 and, although critically ill, was flown halfway around the world in a valiant attempt to save her life. That effort failed but her beautiful spirit did not.


Vietnam Veterans of America


Vietnam Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered national veterans service organization dedicated to working on behalf of our nation’s Vietnam-era veterans and their families. Founded in 1978, VVA celebrates 32 years In Service to America. VVA's goals are to promote and support the full range of issues important to Vietnam veterans, to create a new identity for this generation of veterans, and to change public perception of Vietnam veterans. In keeping with our founding principle, “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another,” VVA’s theme of VetsConnect enables it to reach out to our newer veterans in many ways. VVA has grown from humble beginnings in 1978 into one of our nation’s most respected and successful veterans service organizations on the national, state, and local levels. The organization’s many successes are a direct result of the hard work of thousands of dedicated men and women: our members; our national committee and task force chairs; our national officers and board of directors; and the staff at our national headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. More information about VVA can be found at www.vva.org


Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association


The Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association is a non-profit war veterans' group comprised of helicopter pilots from all countries who flew helicopters in the Vietnam War. Out of the estimated 40,000 helicopter pilots who flew helicopters in the Vietnam War, approximately 14,000 are currently members or have been members in the past. There are currently 8,200 active members.


VO-67 Observation Squadron Sixty-Seven


The Navy's Observation Squadron Sixty-Seven (VO-67) existed for just a little over a year, a total of 500 days, from February 1967 to July 1968. The unit was officially declassified in 1998. The "Observation" in the name is meaningless. It hid, at the time, what was a highly classified mission. The "67" stood for the year it came into being. VO-67 was a vital part of project Muscle Shoals. The mission of the project was to detect, classify, hinder and penalize the North Vietnamese Army infiltration into the South. Steel Tiger was the code name for the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos. IGLOO WHITE was the code-name for the technologies associated with the project located at NKP Thailand and operated by USAF Task Force Alpha. The VO-67 squadron was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation in 2007, forty years after it was decommissioned due to the ultra secret nature of its mission in 1967-68 in South East Asia.


I was a young man during the Vietnam War, yes I enlisted during the war period and I am classified as an era veteran, but my only work in the actual war was as part of the 9th Infantry Division we provided soldiers to go to McChord Air Force base to help with the children and babies brought thru Tacoma and they stopped there before sending them on to the groups that would place these children with the families that would eventually raise them. During my assignment to Korea in 1975/1976 I came back to the states on Air Force planes using Space A standby, in Guam I was bounced off the C-141 that was going to Norton AFB which is ten miles from my parents home in Riverside, something about another flight crew needed the spaces and when I checked with Panam they wanted 1200 dollars for a one way ticket from Guam to Los Angeles so that was not feasible as I didn't have that much money, I was only a SP4 then. My step father Dale Jennings was retired Air Force and he still knew a lot of Air Force NCOs and Officers, I called hom an hour later and he told me to go to the Escort Office there at the Guam Air Force Base a frind of his had arranged for mt to do escort duty.

When I got there he said so yo are Dale's son huh. He asked me how Dale was doing, he hadn't seen him in a long time he said he knew Dale when he first joined the Air Force back in 1959 and up to when Dale retired in 1962 and Dale was a good man, I agreed, I told him how he had taken care of my birth father in a nursing home until he died, he didn't have to, but he thought that our father deserved better than being put into a govt paid for nursing home. Dale and my mother paid my fathers bills for the better care facility and I cared the world for Dale. He said Dale had helped him as a young enlisted man and he was happy to be helping Dale and me now. He had me sign for 2 military caskets which were being flown out on the first plane heading to Travis AFB which happened to be a contract plane from United that was moving military personnel from Thailand back to the US. They put the caskets on the plane in the cargo area, I was told I could not leave the plane in Hawaii it was my job to ensure that the caskets were not removed in Hawaii when they refuled and wehn the plane got to Travis I would be met from someone there to sign the receipts I had for the caskets and then I would be relived of my responsibility for them when that officer signed the receipts I had.

I was shocked to see a full bird Colonel come in the door as soon as they opened it at Travis, he called me out by name, I had been traveling for 4 days and I looked rough, when I left Korea it was 10 degrees and in California it was 80 degreees and I was in winter dress uniforms and they were badly wrinkled and I needed a shave. He asked me for the paperwork abd the signed it giving me a copy of the receipt so I could prove I had delivered them, he arranged for a MSG that was there to get me into the terminal to get a ride to Norton. A little bit surprised the plnae they put me on was the same C-141 I was bumped off of in Guam, back in the early 70s all Air Force planes had to stop at Travis AFB regardless of their ultimate destination, so it wasn't until the next morning when I saw a picture in the newspaper of the reception at Travis, that it was for the remains of 2 marines who had fallen when the Embassy in Saigon fell, they were just now being returned to the states for burial, which explained the Colonel and all of the Generals that were present at Travis for the planes arrival. I think every General from 1 star to 4 stars who could be there, was. My only hazardous duty in that time period was on the DMZ of Korea where the 1/31st Infantry ran combat patrols in the DMZ every night and manned the 2 out posts over looking the fence into North Korea.

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