By Steve Ranson
Special to the Tribune
Special events will usher in this year’s Vietnam War Veteran Remembrance Day and an All-Veterans Luncheon on March 30 with ceremonies planned for both Reno and Carson City.
The Reno event opens at 11 a.m. with a remembrance ceremony with a ceremonial wreath delivered by the Patriot Guard Riders, presentation of colors the Vietnam Veterans Association Sierra Nevada Chapter 989, the reading of names of the fallen from Nevada and a speech given by retired Brig. Gen. Robert Hayes, a Vietnam veteran and former Commander of the Army Guard for Nevada.
Event coordinator Brigitte Stafford said VVA Chapter 989 and the Nevada Department of Veterans Services (NDVS) are honoring Vietnam Veterans in the Greater Reno area as well as all those men and women who served and are serving in the military.
Doors open at the Reno Events Center at 10 a.m. The event is free except for the luncheon, which is $40 a person.
The day before is the official holiday for Vietnam Remembrance Day. President Donald J. Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 almost two years ago, and President Barack Obama on March 29, 2012, proclaimed March 29, 2012, as Vietnam Veterans Day.
“We want families to come to our event,” Stafford said. “We’ve never had an event like this in Reno.”
She said Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell will take a wreath from the Reno ceremony to the annual remembrance in the state’s capital later that afternoon at Mills Park. During the ceremony that is conducted by the Carson City branch of VVA 388, several guest speakers reflect on service and sacrifice during the Vietnam War and the names of the state’s fallen are also read near the end of the ceremony.
Stafford said Congressman Mark Amodei, an Army veteran who served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, will deliver the main address at the luncheon, which begins at 1 p.m., and NDVS director Kat Miller will offer remarks. Veterans from all eras and special guests will be recognized.
Stafford said she needs a count of people attending the luncheon no later than Monday at 5 p.m. Tickets are available on https://vva989lunch.evenbrite.com. She added 100 tickets will be available on Ticketmaster for the Silver Legacy.
In addition to the ceremony and lunch, Stafford said the event will feature a Vietnam-era display of equipment, and support organizations have confirmed their attendance to assist veterans with their outreach services.
Proceeds for the event will benefit Veterans Guest House, Honor Flight Nevada, Northern Nevada Veterans Home and various local veterans organizations.