Next Tuesday, March 29, is National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Why March 29? Because on March 29, 1973, Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) was disbanded and the last U.S. combat troops departed the Republic of Vietnam.
Vietnam veterans first got their own holiday the following year — even before the fall of Saigon in 1975 — thanks to President Richard Nixon, who declared March 29 Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. But not until 2012 did the push for a national observance get underway.
That year, President Obama issued a proclamation calling upon all Americans to observe March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day with programs, ceremonies and other activities that commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
“One of the most painful chapters in our history was Vietnam — particularly how we treated our troops who served there,” President Obama said in his remarks. “You were often blamed for a war you didn’t start, when you should have been commended for serving your country with valor.”
In 2017, National Vietnam War Veterans Day was established as an official observance. Now in its fifth year, National Vietnam War Veterans Day is the occasion for hundreds of celebrations and events nationwide — all held to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.
More than 3.2 million people served between Nov. 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975. But those numbers are dwindling: More than 500 Vietnam veterans pass every day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. So the time to thank them is now.
Take some time out in the next couple weeks to observe National Vietnam War Veterans Day by visiting a veterans memorial or attending a commemorative event; thanking a Vietnam veteran personally with a call, card or visit; or volunteering your time with a veterans organization.
You can also donate your used clothing and household goods to ClothingDoanations.org year-round to fund programs that help honor those who served by staging commemorative events and offering direct assistance when needed. The nation’s veterans thank you for your support!