locals support Vietnam vet day

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 1:23 PM

OGDEN — Some local Vietnam veterans are asking state lawmakers and other elected officials to give them a day to be remembered.

Members of the newly formed Northern Utah Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America are hitting the streets, out to seek support for a national day of observance for Vietnam veterans.

There is currently an action pending in Congress that would permanently establish March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day. U.S. Senate Bill 409 would add Vietnam Veterans Day as a patriotic and national observance.

While work continues on that bill, members of the Northern Utah VVA will be approaching Utah’s Legislature to pass a state resolution also establishing March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day in Utah.

“Only about a dozen states have done it so far,” said Northern Utah VVA President Dennis Howland. “But a resolution like this, 40 years after the fall of Saigon and the end of the war, would finally honor Utah’s Vietnam War veterans with an official observance day.”

The group is also asking elected community leaders across the Top of Utah to pass resolutions supporting the legislative action.

“We’re going to go around to some of the cities across northern Utah and we’ll be asking members of the community to sign a petition supporting our request,” Howland said.

Howland also said that those wanting to show their support can also call their senators’ and representatives’ offices, and ask staff to record their name with the message, “I support a national March 29th Vietnam Veterans Day — forever.”

“When we came home, Vietnam veterans weren’t greeted with parades and triumph and speeches, like at the end of the world wars,” Howland said. “Instead, we returned home to silence, demonstrations and in some cases abuse for having served our country during a controversial war.

“We can’t change the past, but we can help our Vietnam War Veterans by opening the door and saying we honor your service, your dedication, your sacrifice and we won’t forget you — welcome home. It’s right to do this,” Howland said.

For more information contact Howland at 801-389-1893 or attend the chapter’s regular monthly meetings the first Thursday of each month, 6:30 p.m., at the Layton VFW Post 8307, 1389 N. Main in Layton.

Contact reporter Mitch Shaw at 801-625-4233 or mishaw@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.

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