Recognizing and Remembering Our Vietnam Veterans

5th Anniversary Ceremony at the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument

On March 29, 1973, the last remaining members of the United States Armed Forces withdrew from Vietnam and returned home. March 29th is National Vietnam War Veterans Day and in 2009, the Texas Legislature designated this day as Texas Vietnam Veterans Day. Every year in March the Texas Veterans Land Board (VLB) recognizes the loyalty and courage of all the brave Texans who served in Vietnam.

5th Anniversary of the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument

On March 29, 2014, the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument was dedicated at the Texas Capitol to welcome home our Texas Vietnam Veterans. This beautiful monument on the northeast grounds of the Capitol honors the patriotism and valor of our Vietnam Veterans.

Listen to Karoni Forrester, daughter of USMC Capt. Ronald Forrester who was listed as MIA on December 27, 1972, when his A6-A was shot down over North Vietnam, talk about what this monument means to the loved ones of those who never returned home from the Vietnam War.

Texas State Veterans Homes Honored Their Vietnam Veterans

The Texas State Veterans Homes held ceremonies and receptions to honor and recognize their residents who served in the Vietnam War. These special events wouldn’t be possible without the support of active duty military members, local Veterans service organizations and members of the community.

Ussery Roan State Veterans Home

The residents at the Texas State Veterans Home in Amarillo celebrated National Vietnam War Veterans Day with two events.

On Friday, March 29th, the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #297 from Amarillo honored our residents with a reception. Members of the chapter selected Mr. Troy Anders to receive an honorary chapter vest. Mr. Roger Walker displayed his shadow box with all the medals he earned while serving during the Vietnam War. We are extremely grateful to the VVA Chapter 297 for recognizing our Vietnam Veterans on this special day.

(L-R) Roger Walker | Troy Anders & Jeff Quinlan, Chaplain of VAA Chapter #297
(L-R) Troy Anders & Jeff Quinlan | Felicia Valero, Activity Assistant, Troy Anders & Jeff Quinlan

On Sunday, March 31st, several of our residents attended a memorial service for Vietnam Veterans at the Texas Panhandle War Memorial.

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Lamun-Lusk-Sanchez Texas State Veterans Home

On Friday, March 29th, the Texas State Veterans Home in Big Spring recognized National Vietnam War Veterans Day with a pinning ceremony. MAJ Shawn Lynch gave a speech and expressed his gratitude to the Vietnam Veterans, and then presented them with a certificate and pin. There was a moment of remembrance while TAPS was played by local Veteran Mike Tarpley followed by refreshments.

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Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home

On Friday, March 29th, the Texas State Veterans Home in Bonham honored their Vietnam Veterans with a parade followed by a ceremonial program. We would like to thank the participants in the program including the S&S High School Band, Dodd City Elementary School students, SFC Savuntos and SFC Helton.

Missing Man Table

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Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home

The Texas State Veterans Home in El Paso held a ceremony in honor of their Vietnam Veterans that included the presentation of colors by the 4th Battalion 17th Infantry Regiment from Fort Bliss and the National Anthem.

The guest speaker was Rev. Douglas P. Davis, Sr. from the Vietnam Veterans of America Robert E. Chisolm Chapter 844, followed by a performance of TAPS and a benediction from Chaplain Scott A. Lovejoy. After the ceremony the guests stayed for a cookout with the residents and staff. We are very appreciative of the support we receive from Fort Bliss, it means so much to our Veterans.

(L-R) Resident Isiah Washington & the 4th Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment Ready First Stryker Brigade

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Frank M. Tejeda Texas State Veterans Home

The Texas Vietnam Veterans Day event at the Texas State Veterans Home in Floresville kicked off with a speech by Daniel Medrano, former president of the Vietnam Veterans Association from 2006 to 2014, followed by a few words from VLB On-Site Representative Nanci Struble. A big thank you goes out to the Floresville High School cheerleaders who led a touching parade down the hallways where the Veterans were cheered, given hugs and thanked for their service.

The Veterans were given front row seating for an amazing Veteran-themed musical and dance production by Re-Creation and afterwards the performers visited with our Veterans. We really can’t say enough wonderful things about these very talented young people, they are truly unique entertainers and so kind to our Veterans.

Our deepest gratitude goes to Mr. Medrano, the Floresville High School cheerleaders, and members of VFW Post 8555. We would also like to thank the Daughters of the American Revolution and the VA Volunteer District 5 who also assisted with the celebrations.

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Alfredo Gonzalez Texas State Veterans Home

The Texas State Veterans Home in McAllen celebrated their 56 Vietnam War Veterans with a presentation of certificates of appreciation. Many thanks to the McAllen Elks Lodge who sponsored the event which included pizza and a music DJ.

(L-R) Activities Assistant Rebecca Vasquez & Robert Alcàzar | Rebecca Vasquez & Daniel Cortez
(L-R) Robert Alcàzar | Rebecca Vasquez & Thomas Downey | Rebecca Vasquez & Felipe Lerma

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William R. Courtney Texas State Veterans Home

The Texas State Veterans Home in Temple held an appreciation ceremony for all their Vietnam Veterans, which included a speech by Charles Glynn, who served in the Marine Corps for 27 years, certificates with pins for each Veteran, and a lot of personal thanks given from the staff to each Veteran.

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Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home

The Texas State Veterans Home in Tyler celebrated their Vietnam Veterans with a luncheon from a local restaurant called Piada Italian Street Food. They provided the entire meal which included salad, breadsticks, carbonara chicken, penne pasta with meatballs and delicious cheesecake. Special thanks goes to Amanda Recce, the chef at Piada Italian Street Food and a volunteer at the Veterans home.

The celebration was a great success and even included some singing by several of the Veterans who, up until recently, weren’t able to use their voices very well, but thanks to our incredible speech therapy staff, have been able to find their voices again. A great time was had by all!

Amanda Recce and Veterans

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For additional information on VLB Texas State Veterans Homes and Texas State Veterans Cemeteries, and land, home and home improvement loans, call 1–800–252-VETS (8387), or visit TexasVeterans.com. Follow the Texas Veterans Land Board on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Read more blogs at TexasVeteransBlog.com and listen to The Dog Tag at TexasVeteransPodcast.com.