Valley Electric Association is set to host a “Vietnam Veteran Welcome Home” event with Vegas PBS and Kiwanis International.
The event is planned from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. March 29 at the Valley Conference Center in Pahrump, the VEA said in a recent announcement about the event.
“We are excited to be partnering with Vegas PBS, Kiwanis International, Disabled American Veterans, VETrans and VFW to welcome our Vietnam veterans home,” said Candace Perkins, Valley Communications Association manager of marketing.
“During the first hour we will have a veteran resource session, so our local vets can find out about services available to them,” Perkins said. “Then in the second hour, there will be a commemorative coin ceremony where each Vietnam veteran will receive a coin to thank them and in recognition of their service.”
Candace’s father served in Vietnam, so this event has a special meaning to her.
“My father is a Vietnam veteran, so I understand that those that served didn’t receive a proper welcome home,” she said. “This is an opportunity for our community to recognize their service, thank them and finally welcome them home.”
According to Juan Rangel, Vegas PBS Veteran Services Coordinator and 30-year veteran of the Nevada Army National Guard, the Vietnam Veteran Welcome Home and commemorative coin came about as part of a national conversation sparked by the Ken Burns and Lynn Novick epic documentary “The Vietnam War.”
With support from Veterans United, a mortgage lender serving veterans and military families, the station created the Vietnam Veteran Honor Coins to thank local veterans for their service.
The coins represent a symbolic “welcome back” to many who recall a mixed and, at times, negative reception from the public on their return from Vietnam.
This date has been set aside as the National Vietnam War Veterans Day and is a commemorative holiday in the United States. The day has also been set aside to give proper recognition to the men and women who returned home from that war and didn’t receive a proper welcome home.
“I think this is totally necessary just because it’s Vietnam,” said Greg Cardarelli, who is the commander of the DAV Chapter 15 and a Vietnam veteran. “I heard about it through the DAV chapter and I contacted the people organizing it. I think it is an important thing that we do this.”
Cardarelli is putting the word out to all his veteran friends.
To register for the event, go to VegasPBS.org/workforce/GOAL-events or call Ryan Muccio at 775-727-2745. Free transportation is available in Pahrump from VETrans. Call 775-572-VETS (8387).
Other sponsors of this event are the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, VETrans and the Disabled American Veterans.