Story by Kristine Sturkie on 03/26/2019The NEX, in support of The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, is honoring Vietnam veterans by distributing lapel pins at select NEX locations on Mar. 29, 2019, from 11am-2pm. Vietnam veterans are invited to come in to participating NEX locations to receive a free lapel pin, while supplies last.
The Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) boasts more than 13,000 associates around the world, many of who are Vietnam veterans themselves or who had a relative serve in Vietnam.
"I was four or five-years-old when my father left to do two tours of duty in Vietnam," said Craig Carroll, merchandise program specialist at NEXCOM. "Back then you only had snail mail, no Facetime, no email and often the last you saw of them was the day they left. Phone calls were rare, if at all. I can remember watching the news with my mother and brothers and sister in black and white as Walter Cronkite told the news from the front. My dad served 40 years World War II, Korea and Vietnam before retiring as Command Master Chief of the Atlantic Fleet."
This is the fifth year for the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration event which honors the service of the 6.6 million living Vietnam War veterans and their families. Approximately nine million U.S. military members served on active duty during the Vietnam War era, Nov. 1, 1955 May 15, 1975.
Vietnam Veterans Day was first established by presidential proclamation in 2012 leading to the start of annual observance events in 2014. The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 further established the events as a national observance to recognize Vietnam War veterans for their service.
Participating NEX locations include: NEX Annapolis, Md.; NEX Norfolk, Little Creek and Oceana, Va.; NEX New London, Conn.; NEX Great Lakes, Ill.; NEX Jacksonville and NEX Pensacola and Orlando, Fla.; NEX Bethesda, Md.; NEX San Diego and North Island, Calif.; NEX Bangor and Whidbey Island, Wash.; NEX Pearl Harbor and NEX Guam.
For more information, go to vietnamwar50th.com.