The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 670 is hosting the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Luncheon Thursday, March 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will be held at VFW Post 670 on Doc Bennett Road.
“This year marks the 50th anniversary of American combat troops withdrawing from Vietnam on March 30, 1973,” said Amelia Smith, VFW Post 670 quartermaster and point of contact for the event.
“I am the daughter of a Vietnam veteran and I can remember the bitterness my father sometimes expressed about the treatment that he and others in his community received upon their return from Vietnam.”
She added, “A few years ago, Charlotte Motor Speedway hosted a huge Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans event and it was overwhelming to watch the guys who did not know one another act as if they had known each other for years. I have not seen any event like that before nor have I seen or heard of one happening since.”
“I realized that nothing was happening in Fayetteville for Vietnam Veterans, so last year we put together a luncheon and about 75 people attended,” said Smith.
“We did not have an official guest speaker, but we did have some awesome support from the local community.”
Smith added, “The one thing that I noticed during last year’s luncheon is there were not any females that claimed to have been in Vietnam during the war.”
This year’s goal is to have women who were in Vietnam during the war attend the luncheon so they can be recognized and appreciated.
“These ladies suffer from the same health problems as the men, have similar or the same mental health concerns and deserve to be recognized,” said Smith.
“For this year’s event, we have the support of Methodist University’s ROTC, The Fayetteville Sound, Rolling Thunder and a special guest speaker.”
Sponsors for the event include the Cumberland County Veterans Council, BluSky Restoration and Tom Biggerstaff.
“The sponsors and groups have definitely made it a lot easier to pull this event together,” said Smith. “I am so excited to see the Vietnam Veterans, both men and women, come out and have a couple of hours to feel appreciated on the 50th anniversary of the withdrawal from Vietnam.”
The event is free and space is limited. The deadline to RSVP is Wednesday, March 8.
According to the national website, the mission of the VFW is to foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts. To serve our veterans, the military and our communities. To advocate on behalf of all veterans.
The VFW vision is to ensure that veterans are respected for their service, always receive their earned entitlements, and are recognized for the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made on behalf of this great country.
For more information or to RSVP, call or text 910-709-8306, email firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by VFW Post 670 to let the bartender know your name and that you want to RSVP for the event.
For more information about VFW Post 670 membership and events visit https://vfw670.org/di/vfw/v2/default.asp?nid=1.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is a nonprofit veterans service organization comprised of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces. There are three qualifiers for membership in the VFW, as set out in the National Bylaws. An individual must meet all three in order to become a member.
- 1: Must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. National.
- 2: Must have served honorably in the Armed Forces of the United States and either received a discharge of Honorable or General (Under Honorable Conditions) or be currently serving.
- 3: Service in a war, campaign or expedition on foreign soil or in hostile waters*. This can be proven by any of the following:
- An authorized campaign medal
- Receipt of Hostile Fire Pay or Imminent Danger Pay (verified by a military pay statement)
- Service in Korea for 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days
- An authorized campaign medal
This information is usually available through a veteran’s DD-214. If other information is needed or if a veteran’s DD-214 is not complete, they can contact the National Personnel Records Center online or at 314.801.0800 to request more information.
More detailed information on VFW eligibility can be accessed at https://www.vfw.org/join/eligibility.
If you are not eligible for membership in the VFW but you have a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling or spouse who would be eligible then you may apply for membership in the VFW Auxiliary. You can learn more at www.vfwauxiliary.org.