By Richard Walker | Archuleta County Veterans for Veterans
On March 29, which is National Vietnam War Veteran’s Day, the Archuleta County Veterans for Veterans held a commemorative event honoring all Vietnam-era veterans. The observance was held at the Tennyson Event Center and there were approximately 80 veterans, friends and family in attendance.
Mayor Don Volger read the town’s proclamation regarding the holiday, county commissioner Warren Brown read the county’s proclamation and Naomi Dobbs, southwest Colorado regional director for Congresswoman Lauren Boebert, read a letter of support for our endeavor from the congresswoman.
Other notable portions of the Vietnam Veterans Day event included a flag-folding ceremony by the American Legion Honor Guard. While the Honor Guard commenced the folding of the flag into the tri-cornered shape typically presented to a loved one at a veterans memorial ceremony or burial, another Legionnaire explained the meaning and significance of each fold.
We also had Andre Redstone and his wife and family honor us with song and prayers in their Native American dialect. Charlotte Jones, Veterans for Veterans board member and spouse of a Vietnam vet, explained our missing man table and then she rang a bell as veterans service officer and American Legion Post 108 Commander Raymond Taylor read the list of Archuleta County veterans who passed away over the last 12 months.
There were songs, prayers and laughter as well as tears and bitter remembrances during the hour-long event. We honored all veterans but focused on those from the Vietnam War era and presented “Welcome Home” lapel pins and certificates to a dozen Vietnam vets who had not been so honored previously. Special thanks to Kenneth Jones, Veterans for Veterans member and Vietnam combat vet, who prepared the wonderful pulled pork for our luncheon.