On March 29, 1973, the last U.S. military unit left Vietnam, putting an end to the United States’ involvement in Vietnam War. Lasting nearly 20 years, the Vietnam War was one of the most controversial wars in American History. Many service members never returned home, but those who did were often met with hostility and disdain. These veterans were offered little to no access to resources to help them acclimate to civilian life; many didn’t receive enough compensation to cover their living and educational expenses. Vietnam veterans, about 30% of whom have had PTSD at some point of their life, suffered drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness, and the deterioration of their closest relationships.
Recognizing Vietnam War Veterans Day
The Vietnam War claimed the lives of more than 58,000 American service members and wounded well over 150,000. But it took another 50 years before Vietnam veterans were honored nationally. In 2012, President Barack Obama signed a presidential proclamation, designating March 29 as the annual observance of Vietnam War Veterans Day. In the proclamation, he states:
“In one of the war’s most profound tragedies, many of these men and women came home to be shunned or neglected – to face treatment unbefitting their courage and a welcome unworthy of their example. We must never let this happen again.”
Five years later, President Donald Trump signed into law the Vietnam War Veterans Act of 2017, which established March 29 of each year as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. It also amended the U.S. flag code to include National Vietnam Veterans Day as a day on which the flag should be flown.
How Does Hospice Care for Veterans?
Roughly one-third of all the U.S. vets who served in Vietnam are still alive today ranging in age from 55 to 97 years old. These men and women are siblings, parents, friends and more; their experiences present unique challenges at the end of life, challenges that hospice care workers must be able to understand.
Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center is a proud partner of We Honor Veterans, a collaborative project developed between the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Department of Veterans Affairs. We Honor Veterans has provided staff at Hospice of NGMC with training, tools, and resources necessary to guide veterans and their families through their life stories and toward a more peaceful ending.
Learn More about Hospice for Veterans
Hospice of NGMC is proud to serve Vietnam War and all other veterans. It is an honor to partner with veterans throughout our 14-county service area as we host and participate in an array of events and activities.
Learn more about our hospice and in-home palliative care services at www.nghs.com/hospice.
We are committed to the highest quality of care for patients & families. Consider helping our veterans by applying to be a volunteer at www.nghs.com/volunteer-opportunities.