In 2009 the 81st Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 1903, which officially declared March 29 as Texas Vietnam Veterans Day in honor of the men and women who served in the Vietnam War on behalf of our nation. March 29, 1973 was the last day that American combat troops returned home from the Vietnam War. Every year the VLB Texas State Veterans Homes celebrate their own Vietnam Veteran residents with ceremonies, parades and delicious food.
Ussery Roan Texas State Veterans Home
At the Texas State Veterans Home in Amarillo, Vietnam Veteran residents received new caps and T-shirts from the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 297. Tom Heyde, a member of Chapter 297, spoke to the residents during a small reception where 27 Vietnam Veterans were recognized for their service.
Clyde W. Cosper Texas State Veterans Home
The Texas State Veterans Home in Bonham hosted a Welcome Home Parade to honor their Vietnam Veteran residents. There were floats for the Veterans to ride on while the parade route circled the home. Participants included the American Legion Post 178, Bonham Police Department, Bonham Fire Department, Fannin County Sherriff’s Department, Red River Valley Car Club, North Texas Patriot Guard Riders, and the Red River Military Vehicle Preservation Association.
Students from Wolfe City ISD lined the streets with flags and posters cheering for the Veterans. It was such a special day for the Veterans, their families, the staff and the community!
Ambrosio Guillen Texas State Veterans Home
The Texas State Veterans Home in El Paso celebrated their Vietnam Veterans with a special Recognition Ceremony including a Color Guard from the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 574 and a POW/MIA presentation by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 844. U.S. Army SGM Michael M. Brosch II gave a very moving speech and presented pins to all the Vietnam Veterans.
“It was a very emotional ceremony for our Veterans, their family members, friends and staff,” said VLB On-Site Representative Susan Culp. “There were a lot of tears, but a lot of smiles as well.”
After the ceremony there was live entertainment and a cookout lunch, which was sponsored by El Paso City Council Representative Carl Robinson.
William R. Courtney Texas State Veterans Home
At the Texas State Veterans Home in Temple, Marty Martinez, a highly decorated Vietnam Veteran, came to speak to the residents about his service in Vietnam, and to honor and thank our Vietnam Veterans. John Potts, Commander of the American Legion Post 133, helped organize the ceremony and spoke with the residents about the many things the American Legion does in the community.
Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home
On Friday, March 24, 2017, the Texas State Veterans Home in Tyler hosted a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War and honoring local Veterans who served in it. Two distinguished special guests, Major General Arnold Fields (USMC retired) and Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Stewart (USMC), represented the Vietnam Veteran War Commemoration initiative of the U.S. Department of Defense. They presented 55 residents of the home, and several individuals from the area, with the Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin, which represents ‘A Lasting Memento of the Nation’s Thanks’. The two Marines traveled from Arlington, Virginia to honor these East Texas heroes.
The event agenda included the posting of the colors by Patriot Guard Riders and Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association. Both the National Anthem and God Bless America were performed by Judge Mitch Shamburger, Smith County Justice of the Peace for Precinct 4. Major General Fields conducted the recognitions and presentations. Immediately following the ceremony, everyone enjoyed a hot dog picnic with live music.
Many thanks to the Tyler Paper for providing local media coverage for the event.
There are Texas State Veterans Homes in Amarillo, Big Spring, Bonham, El Paso, Floresville, McAllen, Temple and Tyler. A ninth home is currently being constructed in Houston.
Because the VA subsidizes much of a Veteran’s cost to stay at a VLB Texas State Veterans Home, daily out-of-pocket rates are well below average and include the cost of medications for Veterans. Residents can choose between a spacious private or semi-private room based upon availability. Alzheimer’s units at each home provide highly specialized care, including beautifully landscaped, secure courtyards. Like all VLB programs, the Texas State Veterans Homes are self-supporting and cost Texas taxpayers virtually nothing.
For additional information on VLB Texas State Veterans Homes and Cemeteries, and land, home and home improvement loans, call 1-800-252-VETS (8387), or visit TexasVeterans.com. Follow the Texas Veterans Land Board on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.