Vietnam vets invited to Clackamas Community College pinning ceremony
For Vietnam veterans, positive recognition has been a long time coming. But that will all change on Tuesday, July 30, when health company Humana partners with Veterans of Foreign Wars to salute Vietnam-era veterans.
The Vietnam War Commemoration Veterans Pinning Ceremony will take place from 1-4 p.m. at the Clackamas Community College Gregory Forum building, 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City.
Men and women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces between Nov. 1, 1955, and May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are invited to be pinned; the event is free and open to the public.
"Our Vietnam veterans deserve to be honored for the sacrifices they have made," said Tracy Bogard, veteran outreach and retention specialist at CCC. She added that she is most looking forward to giving veterans in the community the welcome home they deserve.
Bogard said she began working on this event in January 2019 as a volunteer member of VFWA 12140 with Humana representative Dori Fritsch.
"CCC volunteered to have the event at the Oregon City campus location to accommodate the large group of people that would attend. We have been advertising this event for the past four months and we anticipate 300 plus people to attend. Humana has been a great partner to work with on this event," she added.
"When Vietnam veterans returned to the United States after the war, they did not receive the same warm welcome many other veterans were greeted with. To remedy that, the Vietnam War Commemoration was established by President Obama and Congress in 2012," said Catherine Field, Humana's Medicare president in Oregon.
The program commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, and aims to thank and honor Vietnam veterans.
"Humana is proud to be a Commemorative Partner of the program," Field said.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 9 million Americans served in active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War; approximately 7 million are living today.
"Humana and other organizations are working to remedy the lack of warm welcome these vets may have received upon returning home by organizing pinning ceremonies across the country," Field said.
"As a Commemorative Partner, Humana's goal is to create events to help the community welcome these veterans home."
'Moved to tears'
Last year, Humana hosted a pinning ceremony in Federal Way, Washington, which Field emceed.
"Veterans expressed gratitude that they were finally being thanked for their years of sacrifice and service. Men and women who had served their country with pride years ago were moved to tears to finally be recognized for their service," she said.
"It was an emotional moment for both those who had served and those who attended to support our service men and women."
Local Vietnam-era veterans interested in participating in next Tuesday's event at CCC are asked to RSVP to 800-781-4203, between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Following the ceremony, refreshments will be served and veterans organizations will be on-site for a free veterans resource fair, including the VFW, American Legion, Humana, Team Rubicon, Vietnam War Memorial Fund, Portland Vet Center, Veteran and Family Resource Center, Clackamas Community College Vet Center, Multnomah and Clackamas County VSO, My Healthy Vet and more.
"We will also be honoring the wives of the Vietnam veterans for their participation in their veterans' lives," Bogard said.
She added, "Clackamas Community College is proud to serve our veterans, military and family members. We value our reputation as a trusted resource in our community."
For more information about the veterans center at CCC, call 503-594-3123.
What: Humana and Veterans of Foreign Wars Lawrence Alberti Post and Auxiliary #12140 will host a pinning ceremony to honor Vietnam-era veterans
When: 1-4 p.m. Tuesday, July 30
Where: Clackamas Community College Gregory Forum building, 19600 Molalla Ave., Oregon City
RSVP: Vietnam veterans interested in participating are asked to call 800-781-4203, between 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Following the ceremony, refreshments will be served and veterans organizations will be on-site for a free veterans resource fair.
Details: To see a photo of the pin, visit vietnamwar50th.com/lapelpins.
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