Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough and Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III honored Vietnam War Veterans during a ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., March 29, 2021.

Using COVID-19 protocols, McDonough and Austin joined a small audience to pay honor to the 58,279 names on The Wall and the 6.2 million living Vietnam Veterans.

“I was down here at The Wall with Secretary Austin to say welcome home and thank you on behalf of a grateful nation to our Vietnam Vets here on Vietnam War Veterans Day,” McDonough said.

Surrounded by military members and Vietnam Veterans, McDonough and Austin placed a wreath at The Wall. After the ceremony, McDonough visited the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, located a short walk from The Wall.

“It’s very powerful,” he said. “It’s very moving, and it’s fitting at the end of Women’s History Month that we just stop here for a moment to pay our respects also. I express our gratitude on behalf of a grateful nation to the women Veterans from the Vietnam War and to say to them, ‘Thank you.'”

National Vietnam War Veterans Day is March 29, marking the day U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, disestablished on March 29, 1973.

This is the fourth anniversary of the day and second year in a row events will be largely virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pins

The Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin has become “a lasting memento of the Nation’s thanks.” Living U.S. Veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period of November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are eligible to receive one lapel pin.

Normally, Veterans receive these lapel pins during public ceremonies. However, if there is no commemorative event planned in your area, eligible veterans can visit and click on “How can I get a Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin?” Veterans will receive this via mail at the earliest opportunity.

Listen to Army Veteran Peter Aylward talk about the commemoration.

More information

Read about the Vietnam memorial walls releasing schedules, with COVID restrictions.

Read the story behind The Wall.

VA to commemorate 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War

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Published on Mar. 29, 2021

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  1. Jerry Borsh April 17, 2021 at 10:50 am


    If I file a new claim (526EZ without any back pay) then my diagnosis is Bipolar.
    If I file a supplemental claim (20-0995 would have back pay) then my diagnosis is personality disorder.
    When did the cost to the government become part of a medical diagnosis?
    My TREATING VA DOCTORS say Bipolar and never had a personality disorder. Who do I need to contact to get a fair shot at getting a favorable disability rating? Is there anyplace to get a fair shake on this or is the VA disability system so corrupt that it should be dismantled?

    Is anyone listening???????

    [Editor: the very first time you ever file a claim for disability, that’s the initial claim. There can only ever be one initial claim. Every new claim after that is a supplemental claim. Don’t worry about form number–file the claim online at or with the assistance of a certified (free) VSO.]

  2. Patrick Crean April 1, 2021 at 11:36 am

    Why change the Secretary of the VA it has worked better than ever before but just in the past few months has been failing again. What about the Veteran that’s just 20% disabled why are you taking the disability check out of the retirement this committee has kept this in place. Essentially stealing from Veterans what earned with their service when the country called we stepped up and you thank us by stealing from us. That does not make Veterans have much faith in this committee that they would do the right thing!

  3. Charles S Scott April 1, 2021 at 10:52 am

    My thanks for service in Vietnam has been DOD inability to find any records of my service to my country. I have been receiving VA disability, non-service connected for over ten years. I have been trying to appeal that decision from day one but the only proof of service I have is my DD214 and apparently that is not enough. The VA rep at the Tallahassee VA outpatient clinic has the records of all my efforts. I am being cheated out of money every day. The check I wrote to my country with my life was good, wishing I could say the same thing about their commitment to do the right thing.

  4. James Holberton April 1, 2021 at 9:54 am

    Thank you for the recognition. We were called baby killers and other names. I am proud to have served during that era. People call it a conflict and not a war, then why did over 58,000 citizens die defending our country. Conflict methods are changing but the basic rule is avoid conflicts before committing our personnel. We are a world power but cannot take care of our own. We give monies to countries around the world but struggle to support our veterans and current military personnel, WHY?
    We argue in our congress for weeks and months about allocations that support political venues before we consider our own country’s needs, why? Please show us the government support for the sacrifice you requested that we answered!

  5. Donald W Jett March 31, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    Thank you! It means alot!
    We didn’t get the attention until after 9-11.
    What a shame!

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