Carlsbad, CA … One half-century after beginning to return to the United States after serving their country in a valiantly-fought, controversial conflict in a distant land, Vietnam veterans, now in their maturing years, will finally receive the honor, recognition and thanks due them at Hospice of the North Coast’s (HNC’s) “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans” March 30, 2018 Celebration.
Although many of these vets may not have received the warmest of welcomes upon their return decades ago, HNC is eager to make this event a very happy homecoming for them now.
The heartfelt commemoration will take place from 10am-Noon at the Veterans Association of North County (VANC), 1617 Mission Avenue, Oceanside 92054. The event is free to Vietnam-era veterans and their families. Reservations are advisable, but not necessary. Sponsorship is available at several levels. Details and RSVPs are at www.hospicenorthcoast.org.
The Welcome Home represents a close collaboration between HNC and VANC, led by VANC President Chuck Atkinson, who serves on HNC’s Board of Directors and chairs HNC’s Veterans Committee. He and VANC leadership team members Michael Walsh and John Stryker Meyer have been instrumental in planning this inaugural HNC event.
As someone whose family member served in Vietnam, HNC Executive Director Sharon Lutz states, “We look forward to seeing our vets from around North County and throughout the region, many in military-related attire, come together to share photos, mementos and memories of their service days. Each honored vet will receive a unique lapel pin provided by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Vietnam War Commemoration, a complimentary lunch following a poignant ceremony, and our enduring gratitude for their service and sacrifice.”
A special recognition will be given to the more than 1,600 Americans who remain missing in action in Southeast Asia as a result of the War.
Carlsbad-based Marine Corps Brigadier General Brahms is Keynote Speaker
A highlight of the day will be a keynote presentation by retired Marine Corps Brigadier General David M. Brahms, now a Carlsbad resident. The Harvard Law School-educated, highly decorated 2 career officer served with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Da Nang, Vietnam. Among his multiple awards, he received the high Legion of Merit Bronze Star with Combat V. Since retiring from active military service in 1988, Brigadier General Brahms has been a strong advocate for veterans.
Lutz says this first annual commemoration addresses the holistic needs of San Diego County’s large veteran population and aligns with HNC’s active involvement with the We Honor Veterans (WHV) national organization of hospice professionals. As a WHV partner, HNC offers veteran-centric programs and support, guiding vets to appropriate services and resources, and accompanying them on their journey toward a peaceful ending. She notes, “Nearly seven of ten males in San Diego County age 65 and older are veterans. Many of them or their spouses will need hospice services in the near future. We are honored to serve those who served our country so well.”
Nonprofit Veterans Association of North County serves as a one-stop resource for all military and veterans, centralizing the services of diverse agencies to assist them with jobs, education, finances, health, wellness and family issues. More information is at www.vancnorthcounty.org.
Nonprofit Hospice of the North Coast was established in 1980 to fill the need for comprehensive, compassionate hospice care in North County San Diego. Since its inception, it has grown in services that include global partner Nkhoma Palliative Care in Malawi, a resale store in Encinitas, Pathways Palliative Care, Hope Bereavement Center and Pacifica House, the only in-patient acute symptom management facility in North County. For more information, visit www.hospicenorthcoast.org.