FORT KNOX, Ky. — The Fort Knox Exchange will conduct a pinning ceremony this year for area Vietnam War veterans during the 2021 National Vietnam War Veterans Day March 29.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, however, officials said they will provide the commemorative pin to veterans in a drive-thru fashion, similar to last year’s ceremony. In years leading up to 2020, Soldiers would pin the commemorative pins on the hats, lapels or shirt pockets of participating veterans inside the lobby of the main Exchange.
This year’s event will provide the same respect and honor for the veterans, said Lois “Lu” Peterson, the main Exchange store manager.
“It is a very big honor to be able to pass these pins out to the Vietnam vets,” said Peterson. “They served with distinction; it makes this a great opportunity to say thank you to each of them.”
The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act, signed into law by former President Donald Trump in 2017, designates March 29 as the day set aside each year for Americans to honor the sacrifices of the men and women who served in the war. The day is the seventh national recognition focused on military service, joining Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, Navy Day and Veterans Day.
AAFES officials began offering the commemorative pins to Vietnam veterans in 2018, marking the 50th anniversary of the war, a commemoration which began in 2012 and will continue through Veterans Day in 2025.
March 29 also commemorates the day in 1973 when the last U.S. troops departed Vietnam.
Officials from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service will stand in front of the furniture store from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on that Monday to hand out swag bags filled with various items, including the commemorative pin.
Those who are unable to attend can visit the events website HERE to find another venue or a commemorative partner. For more information, call 502-942-0067 and wait on the line for Customer Service to answer.