Vets overflow the hall at the Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day

ST. GEORGE — Vietnam War veterans and their families packed into the Falls Event Center in St. George Tuesday for an event honoring their military service to the United States of America during the 14 year conflict.

It was in 1973 that a peace accord was signed in Paris ending the Vietnam conflict and by March 29, American combat troops had left the country.

Bruce Raftree speaks to the assembled Vietnam veterans Tuesday afternoon, St. George, Utah, March 29, 2016 | Photo by Mike Cole, St. George News
Bruce Raftree speaks to the assembled Vietnam veterans Tuesday, St. George, Utah, March 29, 2016 | Photo by Mike Cole, St. George News

Amid speeches, patriotic music and reminiscing, the veterans received pins from the Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs thanking them for their service. Pins were provided for spouses as well.

Court Pendleton of the Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs said the standing room only turnout was beyond anyone’s expectations.

“We were expecting 200,” Pendleton said, adding that the state had only supplied 70 pins for distribution to the veterans. “At last count it was about 230 to 260.”

The veterans and spouses that did not receive a pin were asked to provide their information and pins would be mailed to them.

Master Sgt. Kerry Shurtz of the Utah National Guard gave a description of the POW/MIA table set up in a corner of the room, and honored those who had not returned from the war.

Cila Gonzales of St. George provided patriotic music for the ceremony. Posting of the colors as well as the pin ceremony was performed by ROTC cadets from Dixie State University and Dixie High School.

Utah is home to approximately 46,000 Vietnam veterans, according to The Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs.

Email: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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