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March 29 pinning ceremony will honor local Vietnam veterans

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The Las Cruces Vet Center, in partnership with Las Cruces Elks Lodge 1119, will hold a Vietnam War commemoration ceremony, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, at the Elks Lodge, 300 Elks Drive, the Vet Center said in a news release. The event is open to the public.

It is recommended that Vietnam veterans and spouses RSVP to Jeffery Lee at 575-312-2423 or jefflee312@msn.com so enough pins are available, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) said.

During the event, Vietnam War veterans and surviving spouses will be recognized with a pinning ceremony, the news release said.

The 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War commemoration period, which began in 2015 and continues through Nov. 11 (Veterans Day), 2025, directly corresponds to each year, 1965-75, the inclusive dates U.S. combat troops were deployed in Vietnam, the Vet Center said.

“As authorized by Congress and on behalf of the nation, we are doing what should have been done 50 years ago: thanking and honoring our Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice just as America did for the veterans of World War II and Korea,” said Las Cruces Vet Center Outreach Specialist Sam Jones.

Nine million Americans served during the Vietnam War period and more than 6 million are living today, the news release said, citing statistics from the VA.

“Like veterans returning from today’s battlefields, those who served in Vietnam came home with both physical and unseen injuries of war,” Jones said. “Sadly, many of the unseen injuries suffered by our Vietnam veterans went undiagnosed and weren’t understood by our medical community or citizenry, as they are now. We want Vietnam veterans to know that we are here for them.”

Vet centers across the country provide a broad range of counseling, outreach and referral services, free-of-charge in a safe and confidential environment to eligible veterans, active-duty service members, including National Guard and Reserve and their families, the news release said.

The Las Cruces Vet Center, 1120 Commerce Drive, Suite B, is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call 877-927-8387. Visit www.va.gov/las-cruces-vet-center.

The VA’s veterans crisis line is 1-800-273-8255, text 838255. Visit www.veteranscrisisline.net.