Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration

March 30, 2023 – Veterans Association of North County in Oceanside, CA

Hospice of the North Coast and VANC hosted the fifth Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration to honor Vietnam Veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. Each year we celebrate this amazing group of heroes by thanking them on behalf of a grateful nation.

Harold G. Overstreet
12TH SgtMaj USMC (Ret.) (Keynote Speaker)

Sergeant Major Overstreet entered the United States Marine Corps in June 1966. Overstreet assumed the post as 12th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps on 28 June 1991. He retired from the Marine Corps in 1995.

Date of tour as the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps: 28 June 1991 through 29 June 1995.

Sergeant Major Overstreet was born December 1944 in Houston, Texas. He entered the Marine Corps in June 1966 and completed recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California, followed by Basic Infantry Training School at Camp Pendleton, California. Upon completion of school, he reported to Staging Battalion at Camp Pendleton, for further assignment to the 1st Military Police Battalion, 3d Marine Division, Republic of Vietnam. Returning to the states, he was reassigned to the Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Pendleton.

Sergeant Major Overstreet subsequently completed successful tours on the Inspector-Instructor staff, Wichita, Kansas; recruiting duty in Des Moines, Iowa, and Detroit, Michigan; and returning to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, as a junior drill instructor, senior drill instructor, Series Gunnery Sergeant and Chief Instructor, Reassigned to Drill Instructor School, he was an Instructor, Drill Master, and Chief Instructor.

After completing First Sergeant School, he was assigned to Special Projects at Drill Instructor School, where he undertook the enormous task of completely transferring the Drill Manual onto video tape for a more optimal use during instructional periods. His promotion to First Sergeant in February 1979 led to his second assignment on Okinawa as the First Sergeant, Headquarters and Service Co. 8th Engineer Battalion.

Upon his return from overseas, he was the First Sergeant of both Company B and C, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California.

Promoted to his present rank in October 1983, Sergeant Major Overstreet became the Inspector Sergeant Major, MCAGCC, Twentynine Palms. Returning to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, he served as a Battalion and Regimental Sergeant Major in the Recruit Training Regiment. Transferring to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, he served as the 6th Marines Sergeant Major. This assignment was followed by duty as Regimental Sergeant Major, 12th Marines, Okinawa.

On 6 April 1990, Sergeant Major Overstreet was posted as Depot Sergeant Major at San Diego. He was selected as the 12th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps in April 1991, and assumed the post on 28 June 1991.

Sergeant Major Overstreet’s personal decorations include: the Distinguish Service Medal; Meritorious Service Medal; Navy Commendation Medal; Navy Achievement Medal; Superior Service Medal; and the Combat Action Ribbon.

In 1995 Gene went to work for the Non-Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA), and became the President. He testified annually before the U.S. Congress on veterans’ issues. He also sat in the board of Military Ministries.

In February 2007, Overstreet co-founded Veterans Direct in Plano, TX. Gene currently serves on the Young Marines board of directors. In November 2012, Overstreet co-founded Veteran Forces.