Over the course of the last month, our office received nearly 600 applications from eligible Vietnam-era Veterans in Colorado who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces any time between November 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975. We are thrilled with the overwhelming response this event has received. In order to appropriately recognize and honor each Veteran for their service, Congressman Perlmutter will be hosting several Vietnam War 50th Commemoration ceremonies over the next several months. The first three ceremonies are scheduled for Friday, March 24; Friday, April 7; and Wednesday, April 12. Each ceremony will be held from 9:30-11:30 a.m. in the Community Room at Red Rocks Community College. If you are unsure which ceremony you should attend, please contact our office at (303) 274-7944 and ask to speak with Hannah Mullen or Kathryn Wirkus.

The deadline to submit an application to attend a ceremony was March 1, 2017. However our office wants to ensure every eligible Vietnam-era Veteran in Colorado receives a Service Lapel Pin and the recognition they deserve. If you are an eligible Vietnam-era Veteran in Colorado and are interested in receiving a Lapel Pin, please complete this form.

The form will ask for a copy of your DD 214 as well as your preference between being mailed a Lapel Pin or picking up a Lapel Pin from our district office. If you choose to pick up a Lapel Pin from our office, we are located at 12600 West Colfax Avenue, suite B-400 in Lakewood. If you need assistance obtaining a DD 214, please contact our office at (303) 274-7944 and ask to speak with Kathryn Wirkus. Service Lapel Pins will not be available for pick up or mailing until after April 1, 2017.

In addition, please visit the Vietnam War 50th Commemoration website at www.vietnamwar50th.com to see other pinning ceremonies taking place in the community. Click on the Commemorative Events tab on the homepage and select your city or zip code.

Additional Background:
The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act authorized a program to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War to honor Veterans of the Vietnam War and to highlight the service of the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War. In 2007, the 110th Congress incorporated language in H.R. 4986 authorizing the Secretary of Defense to conduct a program commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration began with the Presidential inaugural event at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, and concludes on Veterans Day, November 11, 2025, by Presidential Proclamation. 

For the purposes of this Commemoration, November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975 is the time period recognized to honor the service and sacrifice of those who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. November 1, 1955 was selected to coincide with the official designation of Military Assistance Advisory Group-Vietnam (MAAG-V). May 15, 1975 marks the end of the battle precipitated by the seizure of the SS Mayaguez. U.S. involvement in Vietnam started slowly with an initial deployment of advisors in the early 1950s, grew incrementally through the early 1960s, and expanded with the deployment of full combat units in July 1965. The last U.S. personnel were evacuated from Vietnam in April 1975.

The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that today there are 7 million living Vietnam Veterans and 9 million families of those who served in this time frame. According to the VA, as of 2014, there are more than 127,000 Vietnam-era Veterans living in Colorado. The Commemoration does not distinguish between Veterans who served in-country, in-theater, or who were stationed elsewhere during the Vietnam War period. 

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