(Posted March 24, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Every day is a good day to thank a military veteran for their service. A special day for honoring Vietnam veterans is coming up this week.
Every year, March 29 is observed in the United States as Vietnam Veterans Day. The date commemorates the day the last U.S. combat troops left Vietnam in 1973.
U.S. involvement in Vietnam started with the deployment of advisors in the early 1950s. The first U.S. combat troops–3,500 Marines–arrived in Vietnam in 1965. The last U.S. personnel were evacuated in 1975.
More than 58,000 U.S. military personnel, including 17 from Madison County, Ohio, died over the course of the war. To date, approximately 400 former prisoners of war are still living and more than 1,500 individuals are still missing in action.
Madison County’s chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Chapter 746 is planning an event for later this year to honor the anniversary.
Chapter members provide new American and POW/MIA flags to schools, participate in local parades, and hold a flag disposal ceremony each year. They also place flags on all military veterans’ graves at the Summerford, Oak Hill and St. Patrick cemeteries and help American Legion Post 105 place flags at the Lafayette cemetery.
The group meets the fourth Sunday of each month at different locations. The next meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. March 27 at AMVETS Post 19 at Madison Lake, London. Officers are: Dave Cunningham, commander and interim treasurer; John Cunningham, vice commander; and Terry Arbogast, secretary. To learn more, call Dave Cunningham at (740) 852-0331.
Dave Cunningham also serves as one of five commissioners for Madison County Veterans Services. Veterans Services can help any military service man or woman with information about everything from benefits to rides to military doctor appointments. To learn more, call (740) 852-0676.