DeSales University will honor Vietnam War veterans and their families in a special Vietnam War Commemoration Ceremony this Wednesday, March 29, from 11 a.m. to noon in the Commonwealth Room of the University Center on the school’s Center Valley campus.
March 29 is National Vietnam War Veterans Day and a number of events are being held throughout the country this year in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the war’s end.
According to a news release about the DeSales event, Commander James S. Turner Jr., U.S. Navy (retired), will be the featured guest speaker.
A northeast Pennsylvania native, Turner enlisted in the Navy after graduating from high school in 1958. His military service took him to 40 different countries on six continents and included five years on duty off the coasts of North and South Vietnam “during the most intensive bombing campaigns” of the war, the release said. During his 34-year career, Turner’s service earned him seven awards.
Also in attendance at the event will be John Kukitz, ’81, U.S. Army, Vietnam War Purple Heart Veteran, according to the DeSales website.
Local veterans organizations that will participating include John Rivers Memorial VFW Post 11322, Quakertown; Vietnam Veterans of America Lehigh Valley Chapter 415; Egypt VFW Post 7293, Whitehall; Fleet Reserve Association, Black Diamond Branch #115; Bethlehem Detachment #284 Marine Corps League; Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 0190-PA-1; and Lehigh Valley Military Affairs Council.
Veterans and those who are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces are invited to complete an online form in order to register for and receive recognition (optional) at the event, which is being hosted by the school’s Office of Veterans and Military Services.
The office has been recognized as an official Commemorative Partner of the Department of Defense, Vietnam War Commemoration, the release said.
According to VietnamWar50th.com, “the Commemorative Partner Program is…for federal, state and local communities, veterans’ organizations and other nongovernmental organizations to assist a grateful nation in thanking and honoring our Vietnam veterans and their families.” Partner organizations commit to host commemorative events honoring the sacrifice and service of Vietnam veterans through 2025.
Information about other events that are being held in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the war’s end may be found on the website.
For directions to the university, which is located at 2755 Station Avenue in Center Valley, visit DeSales.edu.
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