USDA honors its veterans
The Agriculture Department held a Veterans Day event for USDA staff on Thursday at USDA’s South Building Jefferson Auditorium.
The event featured a commemoration for the centennial of World War I’s Armistice Day and a special commemoration for about 2,200 USDA employees who are Vietnam-era veterans.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was joined by Larry Brom of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration and Edwin Fountain of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission, along with Navy retired Vice Adm. Norbert Ryan of the Spectrum Group, and USDA veterans in Washington and via a livestream broadcast.
Established by presidential proclamation in 2012, the U.S. Vietnam War Commemoration recognizes the 9 million Americans, approximately 7 million living today, who served on active duty from Nov. 1, 1955 through May 15, 1975.
As of September, more than 14,000 recognition ceremonies have taken place around the country in partnership with local, state and national organizations who present Vietnam Veteran lapel pins.
“We need to do the right thing for a generation that bore the heavy toll of war, yet served with honor. And the healing begins by a heartfelt, welcome home,” said Perdue, who served as an Air Force captain from 1971-1974.
“As a veteran who served during those times, I understand the challenges you faced when you returned. But today I join countless Americans who are forever grateful for your valor and commitment to our nation.”
Living United States veterans who served on active duty in the Armed Forces at any time during the period of Nov. 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are eligible to receive a pin. ❖