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American Vietnam War 50th anniversary commemorative lapel pins. (Submitted photos)
American Vietnam War 50th anniversary commemorative lapel pins. (Submitted photos)

Higgins & Wheatfield Supervisor Don MacSwan honor more than 75 local Vietnam veterans


Tue, Mar 21st 2023 09:55 am

Veterans presented with pins commemorating 50th anniversary of Vietnam War

Congressman Brian Higgins, along with Town of Wheatfield Supervisor Don MacSwan, held a ceremony Monday recognizing the service of Western New York Vietnam veterans. During the event, more than 75 local veterans each received an American Vietnam War 50th anniversary commemorative lapel pin.

“Decades ago, Vietnam veterans put their lives on the line, and returned to a nation that did not properly welcome them home,” Higgins said. “And while we can’t undo the unjustified reception they received years ago, we can work today and each day forward to appropriately express the sincere appreciation they deserve for their service to this country.”

MacSwan, a U.S. Army veteran who served during the Vietnam War, said, “It is an honor and privilege to meet all the veterans, especially the Vietnam veterans that served our country under extremely difficult conditions at home and abroad.”

The America Vietnam War Commemoration was authorized by Congress, established under the Secretary of Defense, and launched to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Higgins is a registered commemorative partner. Under the program, veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces between Nov. 1, 1955, and May 15, 1975, or their surviving spouse, are eligible to receive a commemorative anniversary pin.

Featured on the pin is the message, “A grateful nation thanks and honors you.”

An outreach event followed the ceremony and featured several veteran service providers, including: Niagara County Veterans Service Agency, Erie County Veterans Service Agency, VA Western New York Healthcare System, New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Benefits Administration. Also attending the event were members of the Wheatfield Veterans Memorial Committee, Vietnam Veterans of America chapters 77 and 268, Patriot Guard Riders of New York Military Order of the Purple Heart chapters 187 and 264, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and the Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight.

The ceremony was held at the Town of Wheatfield Community Center in the week leading up to National Vietnam Veterans Day, which is recognized annually on March 29. This time was chosen to observe the last day U.S. combat troops departed Vietnam: March 29, 1973.

VVA Chapter 268 President Bob Hull with Congressman Brian Higgins and Town of Wheatfield Supervisor Don MacSwan.

Congressman Brian Higgins offers his thanks.

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