The American Legion, Post 331, in St Robert, a partner of the national commemorative program, is hosting the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin Ceremony.

     Don Gerspach, vice commander of the 16th district American Legion told the Daily Guide

     “There are over 7 million living Vietnam veterans.We hope to reach as  many as possible. Veterans do not have to be a member of the American Legion to attend the ceremony. It is a ceremony, open to the public, to honor and thank U.S. veterans who served during the Vietnam era.”  

    Vietnam Veterans interested in attending and receiving their lapel pin should  contact Don Gerspach at (573) 512 -1419.

  The ceremony will be held January 20, 2018, at 2 p.m. in the William C. Anderson Memorial American Legion Post 331 in St. Robert. The purpose of the ceremony is to present all Vietnam Veterans who served during the period November 1,1955 to May 15, 1975 with a commemorative lapel pin as a lasting memento  of the nation’s thanks.

   All U.S.Veterans who served on active duty any time during the period November 1,1955 to May 15  1975, regardless of location are eligible to receive a lapel pin.    

The history of the pin and ceremony   

In 2008, the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration was formed. The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act authorized the Secretary of State to coordinate, support, and facilitate federal, state, and local government  programs that commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.  

Major General James T. Jackson, U.S. Army (Retired), serves as the Director of The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration. This national effort was instituted by the U.S. Government under the guidance of the Department of Defense to do what should have been done 50 years ago: thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.

MG Jackson initially joined the Commemoration staff in 2012 as a senior advisor to help develop commemorate partnerships with federal, state and local communities, veterans' groups and other governmental organizations.

Today, more than 8,000 Commemorative Partners across the country are committed to assisting the nation in recognizing our 7.2 million living Vietnam veterans and the 9 million families of those who served from November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975. (Information from website:

      A Presidential proclamation in May 2012 extended the commemoration period from Memorial Day, May 2012 through Veterans Day, November 2025.

    Congress hopes to accomplish five objectives during the commemoration period.

To thank and honor veterans if the Vietnam War, including persons held as prisoner of war, or listed as missing in action, for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the U.S. and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.

To highlight the service of the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War and contributions of  federal agencies,and governmental and non governmental agencies.

To pay tribute to the contribution made on the homefront by the people of the

           U.S. during the war.

      4.   To highlight the advances in technology, science, and medicine related to military      research during the Vietnam War.

       5.  To recognize the contribution and sacrifices by allies of the  U.S. during the Vietnam  War.  

   ( Information from