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Join the Nation … Thank a Vietnam Veteran!

The Two Harbors Anderson-Claffy Ameri­can Legion Post 109 will be hosting an open house on Wednesday, March 29th, from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. This is a community event open to the public, all veterans, and their family members. A free light lunch and non-alcoholic beverage will be provided for Vietnam War-era veterans and one significant other. The Post is locat­ed at 614 First Avenue. There will be coun­try maps, displays, informational tables, and a DJ providing background music from the era. Everyone is invited to attend.

March 29th is a fitting choice for a day hon­oring Vietnam veterans. It was chosen to be observed in perpetuity as March 29, 1973, was the day the United States Military Assis­tance Command, Vietnam was disestablished and also the day the last U.S. combat troops departed Vietnam. In addition, on and around this same day Hanoi released the last of its acknowledged prisoners of war.

The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (Public Law 110-181 § 598) empowers the Secretary of Defense to conduct a pro­gram on behalf of the Nation that commem­orates the 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, of the Americans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces during the period of the Vietnam War, approximately 7 million are living in Ameri­ca and abroad today.

Congress outlined a total of five objectives for The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, with the primary ob­jective being to thank and honor Vietnam vet­erans and their families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the Nation, with distinct recognition of former prisoners of war and families of those still listed as missing in ac­tion. The four remaining objectives highlight the service of our Armed Forces and support organizations during the war; pay tribute to wartime contributions at home by Ameri­can citizens; highlight technology, science, and medical advances made during the war; and recognize contri­butions by our Allies.

The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration honors all veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time from November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, regardless of location, and their families

While history has recorded the experiences of those young men, and women, who experienced conflict in the jungles of Vietnam, where many lost their lives, the Legion also wants to recognize others whose service was critical. It is important to recognize that anyone who served in the military during that time frame is indeed a Vietnam Era veteran. All who served during that time, no matter where made a significant contribution.

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