“Simple” Welcome Home “is all we ever wanted.” So says a poster for the National Day of Vietnam War Veterans. The Veterinary Gathering on March 29 is celebrated under U.S. law in 2017.

Veterans of Vietnam of America, Chapter 154 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Bruce Post 1146 are holding “Vietnam Veterans Home Day” at the VFW post in St. Clair Shores to celebrate the national holiday. This is just one way the two groups work together.

“Food and drinks will be served. We invite all our members, associate members and their friends to come together, enjoy the friendship and music and honor the memory of Vietnam veterans, ”said VVA President 154 Chapter Gary Purcell.

Some veterinarians are members of both the VVA and the VFW.

Domestic and Vietnam-era veterans who have not served in the country of Vietnam can join the VVA branch for $ 50 as a life member. The section has 154 more than 800 members. Associates wishing to volunteer in the section can learn about contributions by calling 586-776-9810. Members and partners are working on projects such as the Macomb County Veterans Food Chamber for Veterinarians and Military Families.

Veterans of all eras with foreign service can join the VFW. Call 586-778-1146. The VFW support lever for men and women is its supporting arm.

The save began with former post commander Tara Sheyer, who called Purcell and asked what she could do with the VFW post to honor Vietnam vets.

“That’s why we started‘ Vietnam Veterans Day, Welcome Home ’in their hall to honor people and thank them for their service,” Purcell said. “Some of them were never expected to go home. So it’s time for vets to come and relax, ride the wind and drink pizza and beer. They can honor their siblings who never came home. I don’t dwell on the history of that time, I just live by it and how we can do it better. “

For visitors who come to the event, Purcell has pins for Vietnamese vets who have not yet received, gold pins for families who lost loved ones in the war, and blue pins for family members of vets. There are stickers on the bumper with the words “I served”.

Purcell, an army veterinarian, stressed that the VFW message is available to people with disabilities.

Tom Puruleski is the second vice-president of Chapter 154. He served in Vietnam in 1969-70 as an army engineer.

“Vietnam veterans deserve this day. This is not about the war itself, but about a tribute to our service in Vietnam. Those who served and fought in Vietnam show their courage and sacrifice just like soldiers in any other war, ”Puruleski said. “It is also a reminder to current and future servicemen, their service will always be honored, respected and not forgotten.

“When I think about my experience of returning home, my thoughts turn to my father, a World War II veteran. Shortly after returning he invited me out and asked to put on a uniform. My dad “put” me in a few of his local bars, introducing me to his friends, most of whom were veterans like him. Someone in every institution picked up our tab. We ate and drank all day for free. He was so proud! I guess that was all I needed at the time – in fact, everything I ever wanted, ”he said.

The annual celebrations around March 29 have been led by the Vietnam War Memorial Headquarters of the United States and its commemorative partners since 2012. To date, the event has thanked and honored Vietnam veterans and their families with about 22,000 events. Even in 2021 there were more than 1,700 events, many on social media.

Randall Schaefer is the commander of the VFW Bruce Post, which has more than 800 members, 75 percent of whom are Vietnam veterans. There are still 50-60 World War II veterans belonging to the post, Schaefer said.

“We like to view this event as a meeting, welcoming all the veterans to the Bruce Post. This is not the second Day of Remembrance or something like that, just a society and a meeting, ”Schaefer said. “VVA Chapter 154 hosts music and food, and Bruce Post hosts the hall and snacks. All Vietnamese veterinarians are invited here, of course, with their families. VVA Chapter 154 makes the invitation. “

Chapter 154 holds its meetings and other events, such as car dealerships, at the Bruce Post.

Christmas in the project “Veterans of America of Vietnam” from Chapter 154 were additional toys, games and products after veterinarians handed them out to the families of veterinarians and soldiers who asked for help with food and gifts. The items were transferred to Michigan Children’s Hospital, a specialized Stilson center in Clinton. Some of Operation Christmas volunteers: Howard Vucetic, Mike Jacobi, Joe Spencer, Patrick Murphy, Gary Purcell, Chris Scaliz, Ray Bandolier, Katie Whitworth, Dave Schoncher and Phyllis Clanch. (PHOTOS FOLLOWED BY VOLUME PURULESKI)

The VFW Post has applied for some grants, but is mostly reconstructing the post with money it collects from groups renting their premises on Lake St. Clair. There have recently been demonstrations of guns and knives, vendors and comics; and the Corn Tournament, which takes place on Wednesday evenings. These events are open to the public.

The roof is new and the ceiling is mostly made. There’s a new sound system, drywall and electrical system. During events open to the public, you can buy food as well as papa, beer and wine if the tenant has entered into a contract with the posture for the day.

Veterans of the Bruce Post 1146 Foreign Wars prepare fish fries from 4-8 pm on March 18 and 25, as well as April 1, 8 and 15. Address: 28404 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores. Prices range from $ 5 to $ 16 for lunches with cod, perch, shrimp or Mac and cheese. Coffee is free; other drinks are available for purchase. Personal order, cash only, takeaway available.

The Vietnam War lasted for five US presidents and involved more than 2.7 million US troops. On March 29, 1973, combat and combat support units were withdrawn from South Vietnam. Returning home, Vietnam veterans received neither advice nor gratitude – for many the opposite.

This year, military and members of the Vietnam War Gold Star family take part in a live wreath-laying ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC

As of May 2021, the National Monument has 58,281 names of victims, missing persons and presumed victims. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation (which built the Wall in 1982) and the U.S. Department of Defense renew the memorial annually. This memorial honors those who died from 1959 to 1975. Last year, two surnames were added, two missing were registered. There are another 1,584 MIA, 48 from Michigan.

To celebrate the National Day of Vietnam War Veterans, people could have lunches with memorials and speeches, thank Vietnamese veterinarians for their service or buy drinks or food, support a neighboring veterans organization, read and watch documentaries about the war and visit monuments. . In Freedom Hill County Park is the Vietnam Memorial, which honors 150 men from Macomb County who died in the Vietnam War.

American mothers Gold Star, Gold Star Wives of America and the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution are holding events dedicated to New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the Commonwealth of Australia and other allies. See vietnamwar50th.com for more information.

Send news to Linde May’s service clubs and veterans ’organizations to lindamay@ameritech.net or call landline 586-791-8116.

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