Free gift, showing of ‘The Journey Home’ recognizes Vietnam veterans

Composite image depicts an audience watching a film about veterans like "The Journey Home" which will screen in Cedar City and St. George, Utah, date not specified | St. George/Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE – Produced as a gift to all Vietnam veterans, the feature documentary “The Journey Home” will be screened at no cost, with special invitation to Vietnam veterans and their families Wednesday and Thursday at the following two southern Utah locations:

  • Nov. 2, 5:30 p.m. | Cedar City Megaplex Stadium, 1040 Sage Way, Cedar City
  • Nov. 3, 5:30 p.m. | St. George Pineview Stadium, 2376 E. Red Cliffs Drive, St. George
  • After the screening, all veterans and their families (even if their veteran is deceased) will be given a copy of the documentary together with the book “A Time to Honor: Stories of Service, Duty and Sacrifice.” Both the book and documentary are free gifts to Utah’s Vietnam veterans.

This gift is in recognition of the service and sacrifice Vietnam veterans rendered 50 years ago, and in acknowledgment of the “welcome home” they never had during the nation’s divisive and hostile time. This “Vietnam 50th Commemorative Gift” is given with gratitude from the state of Utah, Miller Family Foundation, Merit Medical and Questar Corporation. The national edition and production of the book and documentary was entirely funded by Founding Partners/Executive Producers Al and Kathleen Gardner of Arizona and Joe and Kathleen Sorenson of Utah.

“What cannot be forgotten is the sacrifice of those who bravely served and sacrificed during the Vietnam War,” Gary Harter, executive director of the Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs, said “On behalf of the state, we are eager to recognize every single Vietnam Veteran within our state borders. Throughout the year, we will host free events and present this gift as an opportunity for us to simply say how grateful we are they were willing to answer the call of duty, and we are profoundly mindful of the great sacrifices that were made during that long and tragic time.”

Dennis Howland, president of the Utah Chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America, said:

The Journey Home is a tribute and a much-needed acceptance of the efforts of so many Vietnam Veterans who have spent the past fifty years trying to wake up from the same nightmare with some hope of sanity to start the day. From my view as a Vietnam Combat Marine this documentary and book being presented to all Vietnam Veterans across Utah is a gift of honor and understanding.  Finally — a tribute to America’s heroes about a time of confused politics and an ungrateful generation fifty years ago. Today, fortunately it’s very different.

For more information about these gifts and how to receive one, please visit www.vietnam50gift.com or email veterans@utah.gov.  If the veteran is unable to travel, this gift will be delivered to their home by a Questar volunteer or other partner.

“Our greatest regret as a state may be the missed opportunities to honor Utah’s returning veterans from Vietnam five decades ago,” said Gail Miller, co-founder of the Larry H. and Gail Miller Family Foundation and a passionate supporter of veterans. “Those brave men and women risked their lives doing what their country asked them to do. The war was not their fault, but they were treated terribly when they came home.”

“The Vietnam War Veteran is a part of all our communities,” said Fred Lampropoulos, CEO of Merit Medical Systems in Salt Lake City. “These vets are loyal workers, entrepreneurs, and employers. They raise families, build businesses, and lead by example. They are a part of us. With the Vietnam War now 50 years behind us, it is time to look back with appreciation for our own Utah veterans from this conflict. We recognize you for your efforts, your service, and your sacrifices during that time until now.”

Ron Jibson, CEO of Questar Corporation, explains why he immediately decided to support the project. He said:

Many who served in Vietnam paid the ultimate price for their fellow citizens. Others suffered long-term effects and illnesses they still struggle with today. Unlike troops of other wars, Vietnam Veterans were not given the accolades they rightfully deserved. All veterans should be commended for serving our country with valor.

Utah is the first state to provide the gift, produced by Remember My Service Productions in collaboration with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Naval Historical Foundation, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.

Remember My Service is currently working with other states for similar editions.

“This unprecedented gift will provide a national and state-specific strategic communications platform to express gratitude and respect to Vietnam Veterans in a format they can easily share with children and grandchildren,” Remember My Service President/Executive Producer Sharlene Hawkes said. “This is an heirloom gift that families will preserve and cherish as it encourages dialogue and understanding about their loved one’s service during Vietnam.”

About the commemorative gift

“A Time to Honor: Stories of Service, Duty, and Sacrifice” is a 160-page hardbound book. The book is an original collection of stories from all states and services, mostly discovered in the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. The managing editor is retired Col. Ray Bluhm, author of “A Chronology of the Vietnam War (through the Army Historical Foundation).”

The Foreword section of the book includes:

  • Message from the president of the United States
  • Message from Utah Gov. Gary Herbert

Event details

  • What: “The Journey Home” documentary screening.
  • When/Where: Wednesday, Nov. 2, 5:30 p.m., Cedar City Megaplex Stadium, 1040 Sage Way, Cedar City | Thursday, Nov. 3, 5:30 p.m., Megaplex Theaters St. George Pineview Stadium, 2376 E. Red Cliffs Drive, St. George.
  • Cost: Free for Vietnam veterans and their families.
  • Additional information: Family members of deceased Vietnam veterans are welcome and will also receive the commemorative gift. For more information about these gifts and how to receive one, please visit www.vietnam50gift.com or email veterans@utah.gov.  If the veteran is unable to travel, this gift will be delivered to their home by a Questar volunteer or other partner.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

 

 

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