March 29 marks the 50th year when troops returned from Vietnam War

This day is now known as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

JSSP Letter to Editor

March 29th this year marks the 50th anniversary of U.S. combat troops returning home from the Vietnam War. This day is now known as National Vietnam War Veterans Day and was signed into law by the president in 2017 at The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act. It is a day to thank and honor all veterans who served in the war (and during the Vietnam era). The war "era" is generally recognized as 1961-1975 and was at that time America's longest war. Eight women out of the 11,000 who served were killed in action. The U.S. Army suffered the most casualties at over 38,000, Marines with nearly 15,000, Navy and Air Force with about 2,500 each and Coast Guard with seven.

1968 was the deadliest year in Southeast Asia for American forces and also witnessed the first Tet Offensive, believed to be the point at which America's support for the war was lost.

The war would continue to claim lives until 1973 when the last combat troops came home and the national Selective Service "draft" was formally ended. This one day each year helps ensure that those who fought, those who died and those still unaccounted for will not be forgotten.

There will be a free meal for all era veterans and a guest speak on Agent Orange toxic exposure on Thursday, March 30, at the All Vets Club in Jamestown starting at 5:30 p.m., with a spouse or guest meal for a nominal charge. Call 252-8994 for more information.

Wegenast is a Vietnam veteran and president of the All Vets Club.

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