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Goodfellow Honors Vietnam Veterans

  • Published
  • By Airman First Class Evelyn J. D'Errico
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

The 17th Training Wing celebrated National Vietnam War Veteran’s Day at the Weyandt-Eddy Memorial Plaza, Norma Brown Headquarters building, Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, on March 29. 

The observance commemorates the 51st anniversary of the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Vietnam, which occurred on March 29, 1973, ending an eight-year intervention that cost the lives of over 58,000 service members.

The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 was signed into law by 45th U.S. President Donald J. Trump, designating March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

U.S. Air Force Col. Christopher Corbett, 17th Training Wing deputy commander, and U.S. Army Lt. Col. John McAllister, 344th Military Intelligence Battalion commander, were the guest speakers for the event.

“Welcome to this ceremony today to honor the veterans who served and fought in Vietnam,” said Corbett. “We are paying tribute to our veterans, not because of unique motives, but because of a common remembrance, more as a common affection.”

McAllister reflected on the true reason for honoring those who paved the way for today's service members. He also spoke about the cryptological service and sacrifice of the Vanguard 216 soldiers' mission.

“I am immensely proud to be able to participate in today’s ceremony to recognize our local veterans and remember those lost,” said McAllister. “It is our solemn duty to ensure that our Vietnam Veterans receive the respect, gratitude and support they’ve always deserved. Especially with today’s paper dedication to the crew, the United States Air Force Security Service Airborne Radio Direction Finding mission Vanguard 216.” 

After McAllister’s speech, the Heritage Chapter of the Freedom Through Vigilance Association presented National Vietnam War Veteran commemorative lapel pins to local San Angelo veterans and their surviving spouses. 

“Thank you, everybody who were pinned today,” said Ronald “JJ” Graham, Freedom Through Vigilance Association Heritage chapter president. “We appreciate that, whether you’re a veteran or surviving spouse, we appreciate your service and sacrifices.”