The Department of Veterans Affairs along with the Central Connecticut State University Veterans History Project are organizing an event to give Vietnam veterans the welcome they should have received decades ago.
“Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans” event will be held on March 31 at the Governor William A. O'Neill Armory in Hartford at 7 p.m. The evening is "aimed toward entertainment and appreciation" of the veterans, according to a spokesman for the event.
The Department of Veterans Affairs along with committee members are raising money so that any interested veterans can attend the event for free. The price of admission for guests and supporters is $10. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is the honorary chairman of the committee.
“Since the legislation was passed, my office has been receiving inquiries about what, if anything, we were going to do to commemorate the day,” said Commissioner of Veterans’ Affairs Linda Spoonster Schwartz. “In organizing this ‘Welcome Home’ our mission is simple: let us give our Vietnam veterans a hearty ‘thank you’ and the enthusiastic welcome home many of them never received.”
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are about 80,000 people living in Connecticut that served in the military during the Vietnam era (February 1961 through May 1975).
Mark the Shark of WTIC radio station will be the disc jockey for the event and the USO Liberty Bells will perform patriotic and Vietnam era songs. William J. Begert, a retired four-star general of the U.S. Air Force and current Pratt & Whitney’s vice president for Military International Programs and Business, is expected to speak at the event.
“We all hope the veterans will enjoy the camaraderie and, most of all, the show of support the Welcome Home event is meant to deliver,” Schwartz said.
For more information about “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans,” visit the following website, www.ccsu.edu/welcomehome. To purchase tickets or make a donation, please call Eileen Hurst at 860-832-2976 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested businesses can advertise in the program booklet by calling Tammy Marzik at 860-616-3603.