A “Welcome Home” event for Vietnam veterans that was postponed in May because of elevated security levels at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth has been rescheduled for Aug. 1.
The event will be held at White Settlement’s Veterans Park, 8901 Clifford St., and co-hosted by officials from the air station and White Settlement, according to a news release from the base.
The original event was canceled May 8, the day before it was scheduled to be held at the air station, because the Defense Department raised the level of security restrictions at military installations from A to B, signifying an “increased and predictable threat of terrorism.”
The event is one of several to commemorate the 50th anniversary of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.
The theme is: “Welcome Home — It’s never too late to pay tribute to the men and women who answered the call of duty with courage and valor.”
The event will begin at 9 a.m. with a parade through White Settlement, followed by a ceremony to recognize and thank Vietnam War veterans.
Special guests expected to attend include Linda Schwartz, assistant secretary for policy and planning for the Veterans Affairs Department; retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Christopher S. Adams Jr.; former prisoner of war and retired Air Force Col. Thomas J. Curtis; retired Army Col. Bob Harkins; and Karoni Forrester, daughter of Marine pilot Ronald W. Forrester, who was shot down and has been missing in action since the Vietnam War.
How can you help
The following volunteer opportunities are in addition to info booths and/or parade support. Please take a look and pass on to those who may be interested.
*First, help get the word out. Please let all veterans know. A flyer has been posted at http://www.grizzlydetail.com
*A total of eight Vietnam War Veterans from each service branch to serve as the Color Guard detail in the official ceremony (6 flag bearers for National Ensign, Army, USMC, USN, ASAF, USCG, and 2 riflemen). Wearing your original uniform is definitely a plus, but respectful representation of your branch is more than acceptable. Rigging and rifles will be supplied.
. Personal effects to be used in the “Fort Worth Firebase” Reenactment (Any old gear you’ve been hoarding in your seabag could help to make an authentic experience)
. Well Wishers for the 9 a.m. Parade through city of White Settlement. Show your patriotism as the parade rolls by.
. Set-up/Tear-down support – tents, tables and chairs.
. Water/ice distribution and trash.
. We will ALL be Good Will Ambassadors: Sometimes, just being there is all the support you need. Spontaneous conversations and sharing of experiences with our Vietnam War veterans could go a long way and would continue our efforts to truly “welcome home” these great Americans.
If you’re interested in any of these volunteer opportunities, please contact Rusty Baker, Base PAO, at (817) 782-7815 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.