USA — Department Begins Project for Vietnam War Veterans

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2011 — More than three decades after the war’s end, the Defense Depart­ment has begun a project to pay trib­ute to the nation’s Viet­nam War vet­er­ans.
The 50th Anniver­sary of the Viet­nam War Com­mem­o­ra­tion was spawned from the 2008 Nation­al Defense Autho­riza­tion Act.

“It was a very impor­tant time peri­od for vet­er­ans, because most Viet­nam vet­er­ans as a whole nev­er received the home­com­ing that our troops receive now,” said Army Lt. Col. Hunter Hol­l­i­day, pub­lic affairs offi­cer for the com­mem­o­ra­tion.

At the cen­ter of the project is a web­site, “50th Anniver­sary of the Viet­nam War Com­mem­o­ra­tion,” at, which will serve as a clear­ing­house for infor­ma­tion on the war once it is ful­ly func­tion­al, a mile­stone expect­ed this spring.

Infor­ma­tion gleaned from the web­site is expect­ed to be used for myr­i­ad pur­pos­es, such as to chron­i­cle facts, pro­vide edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als, and offer resources for a com­mem­o­ra­tive part­ners pro­gram, Hol­l­i­day said.

The part­ners pro­gram will com­prise guid­ance and mate­ri­als for agen­cies, vet­er­ans groups, local gov­ern­ment and non­govern­ment orga­ni­za­tions to con­duct their own Viet­nam War com­mem­o­ra­tion activ­i­ties.

The web­site is expect­ed to play a major role in the cam­paign, said Jeff Wil­son, who han­dles mar­ket­ing for the project, not­ing it will be high­ly inter­ac­tive and will include con­tent on his­tor­i­cal events, a time­line, pho­tos, doc­u­ments, video and audio. A cal­en­dar will list major Defense-spon­sored events.

The web­site offers a pre­lude of activ­i­ties and cer­e­monies to:
— Hon­or Viet­nam War vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies — includ­ing pris­on­ers of war and those list­ed as miss­ing in action — for their ser­vice and sac­ri­fice on behalf of the Unit­ed States.
— High­light Armed Forces ser­vice dur­ing the Viet­nam War, in addi­tion to con­tri­bu­tions made by gov­ern­ment and pri­vate orga­ni­za­tions.
— Pay trib­ute to the con­tri­bu­tions made on the home front by U.S. cit­i­zens.
— High­light the advances in tech­nol­o­gy, sci­ence and med­i­cine in mil­i­tary research made dur­ing the war.
— Rec­og­nize con­tri­bu­tions and sac­ri­fices made by U.S. allies dur­ing the war.

“Hope­ful­ly [the com­mem­o­ra­tion] will be a heal­ing process for the vet­er­ans who were nev­er rec­og­nized prop­er­ly when they came home,” Hol­l­i­day said, not­ing the volatile polit­i­cal land­scape that sur­round­ed the war.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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