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Veterans Beat: Area marks Vietnam Veterans Day in Garfield Heights

by Ron Seman Published: March 30, 2014 12:00 AM

Vietnam Veterans Day will be commemorated in Northeast Ohio on March 29, at the City of Garfield Heights Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road. The program is being presented in partnership with the Greater Cleveland Veterans Memorial, Inc., the Joint Veterans Commission of Cuyahoga County, and hosted by the City of Garfield Heights, and Mayor Vic Collova.

The sponsors are inviting veterans, military, respective families, fellow citizens and those who served alongside our troops from throughout the world with their families, according Ray Saikus, spokesman for the sponsors.

An 11 a.m. social will precede the noon program. Refreshments will be available.

Guest speaker for the program is Judge Michael E. Jackson, Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. He is a past assistant prosecutor, and a U.S veteran of the Marines who served in Vietnam as a combat officer. He commanded a Marine platoon as a 2nd Lieutenant. and a Marine company as a 1st Lieutenant.

Master of Ceremonies Leon Bibb is the news anchor for the noon newscasts and host of the program, "Kaleidoscope," at WEWS-TV5, ABC television in Cleveland. He is a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War, and he was embedded with an Ohio-based Coast Guard unit in the Persian Gulf War.

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"March 29 is a very special date for Vietnam Veterans and the nation," Saikus said. "It is the day in 1973 when the last American combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam, and with the support of Congress in 1974 the first Vietnam Veterans Day was proclaimed by Presidential Order."

"This year we also continue to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Sadly, there has never been a finality for those who served in country and during that Era nor for their families. Establishing a national March 29th Vietnam Veterans Day in perpetuity will deliver the earned respect and gratitude and ultimately the healing as well as closure to those who were indelibly touched by the Vietnam War and its consequences," Saikus stated.

"Declaring this special day will also lift the spirits of the current generation of our nation's defenders, knowing that theirs and their families' sacrifice and service will not be forgotten," Saikus concluded. "It will also deliver the opportunity for our whole nation to reflect and heal."

Make reservations for refreshments at info@equalhonor.org, or 216-456-2220 with name, email/telephone, and the number attending.

The second part of the President's proposed $163.9 billion budget will be presented next week. It features a 6.5 percent increase over fiscal year 2014 in support of VA's goals to expand access to health care and other benefits.

News items welcome at seman.ronald@att.net.

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