Celebrating National Vietnam War Veterans Day

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!

Be Thankful, Get Organized

The holidays are rapidly approaching. And while you may have thought you’d have “everything” done ahead of time, the stark reality is that a few things may have escaped your attention until now.

It’s rare for a person to have every single thing completed by the internal deadlines they themselves have created. Be #thankful if you were able to get the jump on a couple of things on your to-do list already.

As for the responsibilities that loom in the weeks ahead, now’s a fine time to get started. You have nine days left to prepare for #Thanksgiving — more than enough time to plan a lavish celebration.

Start by planning the feast itself, Me in Order says. List everything you plan to make and anything that you’ll ask guests to bring or buy ready-made. Then, go and buy the the ingredients while the stores still have them.

Early rumors of supply chain shortages of turkeys and other Thanksgiving staples appear to have been overblown. But even if something is missing from your list, you still have time to get creative and suffuse your feast with decadent seasonal alternatives.

You may also wish to do a quick kitchen #cleanup and #decluttering to #streamline next week’s heavy usage. Locate the specialized tools you’ll need (such as that potato-masher) and keep them within easy reach.

The table and home are another question. If you’re the host, you may wish to do a day’s worth of cleaning and decorating. If you happen to find items that you no longer need or want as you #organize, you can #donate them to ClothingDonations.org.

#Donating lightly used clothing and household items to ClothingDonations.org is one of the easiest ways to #givethanks to #veterans, since the proceeds from the resale of those goods go directly toward veteran health care, housing and other support programs.

This year, be #thankful for the bounty that you do have and the ability to again gather in person relatively risk-free. Share that bounty with your family, friends and fellows throughout the holiday season.

Thank a Veteran for the Three-Day Weekend

Lots of people get Veterans Day off, making 2019’s observance into a three-day weekend. You can use some of that extra time to visit a retired veteran in a retirement home, or write a letter to a current service member. You can volunteer to help a veteran neighbor with their fall yardwork (as this blogger plans to do), or weed out some of your old, unused clothing and household items and donate them to ClothingDonations.org, simultaneously helping fund veterans programs around the country while streamlining your space. However you choose to observe the holiday, the nation’s veterans appreciate your support!

Discounts Thank Veterans for Their Service

One way businesses salute the nation’s veterans and current service members is to offer them special discounts on Veterans Day. Chains such as Baker’s Square, Red Robin and California Pizza Kitchen offer a free meal with proof of service, while retailers such as Walgreen’s, Dollar General, Target and Publix will offer percent-off and other deals over the long weekend. What’s more, the national parks will waive admission for everyone this Veterans Day — and give disabled veterans free Lifetime Access Passes in gratitude for their service.

Celebrating Veterans Day in the Nation’s Capital

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Veterans Day in the nation’s capital, Washington.org says. An annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall will honor those who gave their lives in Vietnam, and memorials dedicated to the U.S. Navy, Air Force and Marines will also host thousands of visitors. Museums often have special programming for the event, and there’s usually no charge for veterans and current service members. And the Washington National Cathedral will host a tribute concert to veterans on the eve of the holiday featuring its choir and the U.S. Marine Orchestra.