The 14th Annual Iowa Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day Ceremony is scheduled Friday, May 7, at 11a.m., at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial located south of the Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines, hosted by Disabled American Veterans, Des Moines Chapter 20, with support from Central Iowa VA Health Care System.
Col. Gerald “Gerry” Berry, USMC (Ret.), will be the Honored Keynote Speaker. He is a highly decorated, two-tour, helicopter pilot who “ended the war in Vietnam.” Governor Kim Reynolds and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg will also be speaking¸ and Dan Gannon, DAV Des Moines Chapter 20 Commander, will serve as master of ceremonies.
This year’s 50th Commemorative (2012-2025) Ceremony will honor all who served in the Vietnam War Era, and especially those spouses and families who’ve lost loved ones, whether during their service in Vietnam, or who later died as a result of their service. Those lost directly in the war are honored on the Iowa Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. “Hidden casualties of Vietnam” whose names are not eligible for inscription upon the Wall — those who’ve suffered or died as a result of their service — are recognized by the “In Memory Plaque” dedicated on the Vietnam Wall grounds.
Doug Bishop, a Veteran and Chair of the Jasper County Veterans Alliance will speak about the “In Memory Plaque Program,” and how all Vietnam Era Veterans can participate.
“Today, we welcome them all home with honor and gratitude. So now, it is critical that we not let this 50th Commemoration slip by without trying to right that wrong of 50 years ago when America neglected to welcome home our millions of warriors,” Gannon said.