The public, all veterans and family members and friends of Vietnam War veterans are invited to attend and participate in a 50th Anniversary Vietnam Veterans Commemoration "Pinning Event." It starts at 10:45 a.m. Saturday, March 21, at Mesa Market Place, 10550 E. Baseline Road in Mesa.
All U.S. Armed Forces veterans who served between Nov. 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975, regardless of their service location, are entitled to be "pinned" and to be thanked for their service by an official representative of the U.S. Department of Defense at this pinning event, according to a release.
Additionally, surviving spouses of a deceased veteran who served during the same period are also invited to be "pinned." There is no need to pre-register to be included in pinning event, the release states.
The Department of Defense is also offering additional special honors for this event. The following honors require pre-registration, by calling veteran Nancy Fassbender at 480-983-0634 as soon as possible:
Maj. Gen. James T. Jackson, U.S. Army (Retired), director of The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, will conduct the "pinning" ceremonies under the auspices of the U.S. government and the Department of Defense.
Singer Les Koel and trumpeter Howard Schneider --- with Barleens Dinner Show --- will provide music.
Speakers include Maj. Gen. Jackson, Vietnam War veteran and author Kerry Pardue, and veteran and author Nancy Fassbender.
Before and after the remembrance, adults and children are invited to write notes and color pictures to go into "Packages From Home" care packages destined to go to the Middle East.
"The Vietnam veterans 'pinning event' was instituted by the U.S. government under the auspices of the Department of Defense to do what should have been done 50 years ago: thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice," the release states.
Ms. Fassbender and The Pinal County Veterans Memorial Foundation made this official pinning event, led by Maj. Gen. Jackson, possible, the release states.