March 29, 2016 –
CULVER CITY, Calif. – “Know your mission was successful and complete. You protected the South Vietnamese for decades, and only when ordered to, not in defeat or retreat, did you leave,” said Col. Laurence Linton to at The West Los Angeles Vet Center’s 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War, March 29, 2016.
Coast to coast, on this anniversary of the last American warfighter leaving Vietnam, the United States is finally welcoming home Vietnam War veterans. Local community leaders gave heartfelt thanks to the veterans, many of whom were never welcomed back all those decades ago when they returned the first time.
Linton, Chief of Staff for the 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), as a representative of the Army and the Army Reserve, thanked the veterans, saying, “When my generation of Soldiers fought the Gulf War, you made sure we were welcomed back as you should have been from that conflict on.”
In addition to several speakers, 311th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Resource Management Officer, Maj. (retired) Andrea Singer, conducted the Missing Man Table and Honors Ceremony in honor of the men and women who did not make it home. This traditional ceremony, which is full of symbolism, is composed of a solitary place setting on a table for one with a lone empty chair.
As part of welcoming home this previous generation of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, each Vietnam War veteran received a lapel pin. On the back of the pin, is engraved: “A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You.”