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Navajo Nation Council recognizes National Vietnam War Veterans Day

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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The 25th Navajo Nation Council recognizes National Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29 as the U.S. honors the men and women who served and sacrificed during the Vietnam War.

“On this special day, we come together to show our appreciation and pay tribute to the thousands of men and women who served our country in the Vietnam War, including many of our Diné warriors. Today, many of our Vietnam War veterans have passed on and many continue to serve in our communities in many ways. Our Vietnam War veterans are remembered and honored for their sacrifices in Vietnam, as well as their families and loved ones. Thank you for your service and we continue to pray for healing and prosperity for all of our Diné veterans,” Speaker Crystalyne Curley said.

In 2017, former U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey and Joe Donnelly introduced legislation to honor Vietnam veterans on an annual basis. They chose March 29, a day that marks the anniversary of the withdrawal of military units from South Vietnam. Their bill was signed into law, creating the National Vietnam War Veterans Day, recognized annually on March 29.

According to the Navajo Veterans Administration, the Navajo Nation has more than 15,000 veterans overall. Native Americans have the highest rate, per capita, of military service than any other ethnic group.

Council Delegate Steven R. Arviso (Churchrock, Iyanbito, Mariano Lake, Pinedale, Smith Lake, Thoreau) is a Navajo veteran, spoke about the dsicrimination Vietnam War veterans faced when they returned home.

“When the Vietnam War came to an end, thousands of military personnel returned to the United States and many were not welcomed home with open arms, but yet they came home and continued to serve our communities and help our people – that is a true testament to your will and your service to this country," Arviso said. Today, we join together to recognize the military service of these men and women who answered the call to serve their country and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”

The 25th Navajo Nation Council is a proud sponsor of the 7th Annual National Vietnam War Veterans Day event hosted by the Northern Navajo Veterans Organization in Shiprock, New Mexico. The theme of this year’s event is “Silent Warriors of Vietnam.”