Certificate and lapel pin ceremony to honor local Vietnam War vets

On Saturday morning, Sept. 7, at 11, Vietnam War veterans from Whitfield County and surrounding counties have an opportunity to take part in a long overdue public recognition of their military service at a certificate and lapel pin presentation ceremony at American Legion Post 112, 1118 N. Glenwood Ave. in Dalton.

Georgia Department of Veterans Service (GDVS) Commissioner Mike Roby will present the state's Certificate of Honor and the Defense Department's Commemorative Lapel Pin to those Vietnam veterans who sign up, both presented for honorable military service during the Vietnam War. The deadline to sign up is 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23.

"It is never the wrong time to say thank you to a veteran, and that is especially true for the many Vietnam War veterans who were never properly thanked when they returned home," said Roby. "We hope to eventually present every Georgia veteran with a Certificate of Honor recognizing their service during the Vietnam War."

Every Georgia veteran with honorable service during the Vietnam War (from June 1, 1954, to May 15, 1975) is eligible to receive this certificate. This includes veterans with service in-country and those who served in other capacities.

Vietnam veterans who are interested in participating in the ceremony can contact the GDVS Central Office via email to bzeringue@vs.state.ga.us with their DD Form 214 attached, or fax their information (name, address and phone number) and DD Form 214 to (404) 656-7006.

Submissions should be marked with "Dalton Certificates." For more information, call Brian Zeringue, GDVS director of public information, at (404) 656-5933.

Vietnam veterans may also receive this honor posthumously. Surviving spouses may receive the state certificate and a Defense Department Certificate of Honor and lapel pin as long as the required documentation (veteran's DD Form 214) is presented with the sign-up application.

The state's recognition of these veterans is part of the U. S. Department of Defense's 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War. The Georgia Department of Veterans Service continues the Vietnam War Certificate of Honor program which began in the spring of 2015, now with the support and cooperation of the Office of Gov. Brian Kemp.

The Georgia Vietnam War Certificate of Honor is personalized with the Vietnam War veteran's name, rank, branch of service and dates of service printed over the seal of the state of Georgia and includes the official U.S. Department of Defense's Vietnam War Commemorative Partner logo. They are signed by Kemp and Roby.

Of the more than 27,400 certificates issued since March 2015, nearly 22,000 have been presented in more than 333 "Certificate & Lapel Pin" honors ceremonies across Georgia.

There are more than 49,500 veterans who reside in Whitfield and the bordering counties, many of whom are Vietnam veterans.

Additional information about the Certificate of Honor Program and other veteran benefits is available at www.veterans.ga.gov.

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