DIXFIELD — Gov. Paul R. LePage will be issuing a special proclamation recognizing Vietnam War Remembrance Day and the 41st anniversary.

A celebration, remembrance and recognition ceremony will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 30, at the Swasey-Torrey American Legion Post 100, 23 Main St.

Vietnam veterans are invited to join as the post celebrates the 41st anniversary of the day when the last of the American soldiers left Vietnam. On March 29, 1973, the last of the troops left Vietnam and on March 30, 1973, they were out of Vietnam and returning home.

The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services conducts periodic presentation ceremonies around the state to provide an opportunity for the family and friends of veterans to attend a local ceremony to see their loved one recognized for their military service.

The recognition program includes honoring those who were wounded, POWs or died in support of combat operations since the beginning of WWII. As part of the program the State presents certificates of appreciation to veterans who served during WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Cold War and Persian Gulf.

Certificates will be presented to all veterans who register prior to the ceremony. If the veteran or family would like to receive a certificate at the ceremony, a simple application should be completed and accompanied by the DD-214 and/or Discharge in order to receive the medal(s) and/or certificate.

The application form may also be picked up at the Mexico Town Office Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., or call Rep. Sheryl Briggs at 207-364-5665

A special recognition and Gold Star Medal will be presented to the family of Rupert Torrey, whom the Dixfield post was named after, as Torrey was the first Vietnam veteran killed in action in a plane crash from the town of Dixfield. There also will be other medal presentations at the ceremony.

Silver commemorative coins honoring Maine women veterans will be given to all Maine women veterans at the ceremony to show Maine’s appreciation for their sacrifices. The coins are in likeness of the plaque that has been placed in the State House Hall of Flags.

“Maine’s women veterans have served our state and our nation proudly,” said Rep. Briggs. “I am extremely pleased that there is recognition of their contributions in a place of honor at the State House.”

There are 10,000 women veterans in Maine.

The 124th Legislature passed a resolve to arrange for a plaque to be placed in the State House Hall of Flags in a prominent position among existing plaques honoring veterans of World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

The plaque design depicts Maine women who served in different U.S. military capacities over four centuries. This included the 18th-century Revolutionary War patriot Hannah Watts Weston; 19th-century Civil War nurse Emily W. Dana; 20th-century WWII Army Air Force service pilot Patricia A. (Chadwick) Erickson; and 21st-century Maine Army National Guard soldier Sgt. Annette M. Bachman.

The Maine Adjutant General James Campbell will speak, as well as Vietnam veteran and Maine humorist Gary Crocker, who will be sharing a little humor.

More information on the program, certificate applications and silver coin applications can be found on the Bureau of Veterans’ Services website at www.maine.gov/dvem/bvs and by clicking on the Maine Heroes button on the left of the page. Information is also available by calling the bureau’s central office in Augusta at 207-430-6035 and calling Rep. Briggs.


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