Commissaries prepare to honor service, sacrifice of Vietnam War-era veterans on March 29

  • Published
  • By DeCA corporate communications

Select commissaries worldwide are planning recognition events to honor veterans, surviving spouses and their families for Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29.

Every year the military resale community joins the Pentagon's Office of War Commemoration in honoring Vietnam veterans and their families, who served from Nov. 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, with special lapel pins. Participants are advised to check with their local commissaries for scheduled ceremonies.

For Marine Sgt. Maj. Michael Saucedo, the Defense Commissary Agency’s senior enlisted advisor to the DeCA director, it’s always an honor to recognize the service and sacrifice of those who went before him.

“We walk in the footsteps of our Vietnam War-era veterans and their families, and it’s a privilege for us in the commissary to join the nation in observing them on March 29,” Saucedo said. “We honor the memories of the fallen and are proud to continue serving the millions of eligible veterans and their caregivers who are now authorized to shop on-base.”

Approximately 9 million U.S. military members served on active duty during the Vietnam War era. Out of the 2.7 million U.S. service members who served in Vietnam, more than 58,000 were killed and more than 304,000 were wounded.

Vietnam Veterans Day was first established by presidential proclamation in 2012 leading to the start of annual observance events in 2014. The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 further established the events as a national observance to recognize Vietnam War-era veterans for their service.

According to the National Vietnam War Commemoration website, the observance date recognizes March 29, 1973, the day the United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam ceased operations with the last U.S. combat troops leaving the country. 

At DeCA, supporting the military is part of the DNA of its workforce, with more than 65 percent of commissary employees having a direct connection to the military as a veteran, a retiree, a military family member or a reservist.

“When we salute our Vietnam War-era veterans we are honoring ‘family,’” Saucedo said. “All of us at the commissary remain thankful for their service, and we encourage everyone to do their part in honoring these veterans and their families.

“And for any of those veterans who are disabled and can shop in our stores, we want to reach out to them and let them know the commissary is here to deliver savings on their grocery bill.”