The president of the United States of America issued a proclamation and declared May 28, 2012 through Nov. 11, 2025 as the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.

Purposes of the commemoration include thanking and honoring all veterans of the Vietnam War and highlighting the service of the armed forces and contributions of federal agencies that supported them.

In addition, it is intended to pay tribute to contributions made on the home front by people of the United States during the war. 

In the Okaloosa County area, commemorative partners the Air Force Armament Museum, the Military Order of the Purple Heart  Chapter 811, the West Point Society of Northwest Florida and the 53rd Wing have teamed together to organize a “Welcome Home” celebration for all Vietnam veterans and their families.

The event is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 5 at the museum. All veterans will be presented with a special pin and packet in commemoration of their service. Also featured will be guest speakers, service organizations, interviews with the press and plenty of refreshments.

Unfortunately, the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War committee has been unable to raise money for refreshments. The Armament Museum and the MOPH Chapter 811 are 501(C)(3) non-profit organizations, and must raise money to provide them.

The committee expects around 5,000 Vietnam veterans and family to this long overdue prestigious event, so the committee is looking for sponsors, donations and volunteers to help feed and serve Vietnam veterans and their families. Any large sponsors or donations will receive full recognition by way of public relations in the local press, on television and radio and in the national magazine.

All are welcome to come and to  participate, in the words of the commander-in-chief, “as a way to honor and give thanks to a generation of proud Americans who saw our country through one of the most challenging missions we have ever faced.” 

Further, “from Ia Drang to Khe Sanh, from Hue to Saigon and countless villages in between, they [our veterans] pushed through jungles and rice paddies, heat and monsoon, fighting heroically to protect the ideals we hold dear as Americans. Through more than a decade of combat, over air, land and sea, these proud Americans upheld the highest traditions of our armed forces.”

Please join your fellow citizens as we recognize the service performed by veterans, the fallen, those wounded, those unaccounted for, our former prisoners of war, their families and all others who served.

For sponsors and donations, contact Joan Doman, president of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War Committee and director of Operations of the Armament Museum Foundation, at 651-5253 or 651-1808 and Afamf32542@aol.com.

Please make checks out to AF Armament Museum Foundation and reference the 50th Anniversary Vietnam War.

Thank You.

William Everett, a Baker resident, is a committee member for Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 811.