Veterans mark 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War

Oct 18 2012 - 2:34pm

Editor,

As I read of the funeral and tributes for the service of Command Sergeant Major Basil Plumbley, a three war Infantryman (one of only 324) who was portrayed by Sam Elliott in the movie, "We Were Soldiers Once...And Young," starring Mel Gibson, my thoughts are with my fellow Vietnam veterans.

I am mindful that this is the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. As we approach Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, I think it is appropriate to give thanks on a number of fronts. First Thanks, to our veterans for their service and thanks to the Utah Legislature and Governor Herbert for their approval and support for the Veterans Reintegration Task Force to look at the challenges and struggles facing our recently separated service members and veterans. The task force is the most comprehensive look at military and veterans issues in more than fifty years and it underscores the commitment of our elected officials to address these issues.

My Thanks also to the business community, the Chambers of Commerce in Salt Lake and Northern Utah for their strong support of our veterans and Military Employment Coalition to assist guardsmen, reservists and veterans in obtaining meaningful employment. Many of my fellow Vietnam veterans and current conflict veterans suffer from post traumatic stress and I am especially grateful to Governor Herbert, Utah's congressional delegation, led by Congressman Rob Bishop in writing a letter to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki, requesting a vet center to be located in Ogden. We currently have vet centers in Salt Lake, Provo and St. George.

Northern Utah, with more than 40,000 veterans, is in urgent need of a vet center to provide mental health counseling to these combat veterans.

On November 8, at the South Towne Center there will be a Hiring Our Heros Job and Benefit Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. more than 100 employers were at the event last year.

our Veterans Day program at the State Capitol on November 11, at 11 a.m. will recognize Vietnam veterans with a small gift. as we note the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Governor Herbert and Don Gale will offer remarks.

Terry Schow

Executive director

Utah Department of Veterans Affairs

Salt Lake City

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