Gov. Dave Heineman today met with members of veteran organizations including the Nebraska Department of Veterans Affairs, the Nebraska Committee for the 50th Commemoration of the Vietnam War, and a group of Nebraska's Vietnam Veterans to proclaim the 50th Commemoration of the Vietnam War.
"I am honored to recognize our veterans who served in Vietnam," said Gov. Heineman. "As a veteran, I am pleased to represent a state where we demonstrate to our military personnel and veterans every day how much we appreciate their service. We are very grateful to our veterans for what they have done to protect our country."
Lieutenant General Claude M. Kicklighter, U.S. Army (retired), of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration presented Gov. Heineman with an official Commemoration Flag and a certificate signed by the Honorable Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense and General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff signifying the state of Nebraska's status as Commemorative Partner in this national effort.
"The Commemoration is an opportunity to recognize the honorable service and sacrifice of our Vietnam Veterans," said Department of Veterans Affairs Director John Hilgert. "It is an opportunity to provide comfort and support to the families and friends whose loved one's name is on the Wall. It is also an opportunity to educate those who have no first-hand knowledge of the war, from those who know it best, the men and women who served in Vietnam. I hope communities throughout Nebraska participate by hosting an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War."
Nebraska is only one of nine states in the nation to become a Commemorative Partner. Other Nebraska-based Commemorative Partners include Creighton University Army ROTC, Lancaster County Veterans Services, the Nebraska Association of Professional Veterans Advocates (NAPVA), University of Nebraska Army ROTC and the Vietnam Veterans of America Nebraska State Council.
Vietnam Veteran Greg Holloway of Bee, Neb. said, "The conflict in Vietnam had a profound impact, on all those that not only served, but the nation over all. This is a time to heal the wounds received from the battles abroad and at home. Join with us to remember the sacrifices of a great nation that helped to forge the freedom we take for granted."
The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the Department of Defense to establish a nationwide program to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration was formed to organize, recruit, support and facilitate events all across America to assist a grateful nation to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families. The program is veteran-focused, hometown-centric and currently includes more than 5,000 Commemorative Partners throughout the country.