Special Ceremony On March 29 Will Honor Fallen Vietnam Veterans

By John Harlow
March 29th this year marks the 50th anniversary of US combat troops returning home from the Vietnam War. March 29th is now known as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The day was first proclaimed by President Barack Obama in 2012 and in 2017 President Donald Trump signed it into law. It commemorates the hardships suffered and sacrifices made by nine million Americans who served in the military during the Vietnam War era of 1964 – 1975. However, the holiday does not only honor the former soldiers but also their families who supported them before and after the war.

We at the Dillon VFW will be at Veterans Square on that day at daybreak (6:44AM) to stand before the memorial wall and say aloud the names of the 10 Dillon County men killed in action in Vietnam –
• David L. Brunson US Army KIA 05/13/1966
• Joseph H. Sullivan US Marines KIA 09/15/1966
• James E. Owens US Army KIA 09/04/1967
• Morris L. Fleming US Army KIA 05/05/1968
• Luther Bethea Jr. US Marines KIA 08/13/1968
• Billy C. McDaniels US Army KIA 11/19/1968
• Walter Palmer US Army KIA 05/17/1969
• Wylie C. King US Army KIA 11/27/1969
• Galen S. Miles US Army KIA 09/09/1970
• Rodney Chavis US Army KIA 09/13/1970
We gather on this date to remember these brave Dillon County men and to honor them for the sacrifice they made defending American values and our democracy. We remember all those who served in Vietnam, the POWs/MIAs, the wounded, the disfigured and disabled, and those who have borne the scars of that war for so many years. Today, Vietnam War veterans still face PTSD challenges, and health issues from the long-term effects of the chemical defoliant Agent Orange. Agent Orange is still killing Vietnam War veterans. Sadly, across America and here in Dillon County, more than 58,000 Americans died during the war in Vietnam and others received life changing injuries both visible and invisible.
We recognize also, the leaders many of these men and women went on to become after the war and the success many have experienced in family, career, and so many other areas of life. On this March 29th National Vietnam War Veterans Day, the Dillon VFW will set aside this time at daybreak to remember the names of these 10 men and say their names aloud at this hallowed memorial wall at Veterans Square that bears the names of 93 Dillon County citizens killed in action beginning during World War I and continuing to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have not forgotten any of them. And we will give thanks for the men and women who served during those war periods and for the families that loved and supported them.
On this date, we invite family, friends, and others who are thankful for the sacrifices made by them so many years ago to join us at daybreak (6:44AM) on March 29th and be a part of this roll call of names. We ask that all Vietnam War era Veterans make a special effort to attend.

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