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NEWS | Aug. 2, 2017

JBLE recognizes 50th Anniversary Vietnam Commemoration

By Staff Sgt. Teresa J. Cleveland 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Joint Base Langley-Eustis commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War during a luncheon at Fort Eustis, Va., July 27, 2017.

During the luncheon, U.S. service members, civilian employees, military veterans and their families thanked and honored Vietnam War veterans and their families, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action, for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the U.S.

“You remind us every day what it means to serve this great nation,” said U.S. Army Col. Ralph Clayton III, 733rd Mission Support Group commander, addressing the veterans in the audience. “The war’s 50th anniversary gives us an opportunity to celebrate our history and reflect on historic efforts and remarkable experiences of you, our Vietnam veterans.”

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, approximately 2.7 million American men and women served in Vietnam. During the war, over 58,000 U.S. military members lost their lives, and 153,000 were wounded.

In 2012, President Obama established the commemoration as a 13-year program to honor veterans, each year that the U.S. was involved in the Vietnam War.

As the guest speaker for the event, retired Maj. Gen. David Whaley encouraged attendees to educate their community members on the importance of what service members do every day and why they do it.

“Since the birth of our nation, no generation has been spared the responsibility of defending our freedom by force and war,” said Whaley. “More than 54 million men and women have sacrificed and served in time of war; their collective service and individual sacrifices have safe guarded the cherished concepts embedded in our constitution.”

During the luncheon, a White Table of Remembrance was set to commemorate the fallen men and women, as well as those who are still missing in action.

For more information on the Vietnam Commemoration, visit