Commemorating National Vietnam Veterans Day
March 29 is National Vietnam Veterans Day, honoring those who served during the period of the Vietnam War from 1962-1975.
Nearly 8.8 million service personnel served during the war with 40% stationed in Vietnam and the surrounding Southeast Asian countries.
The government indicates 58,220 U.S. soldiers lost their lives during the conflict and over 1,500 remain missing.
Veterans Home Care wishes to thank and honor all who served during the Vietnam era.
One especially close to us is Dale Monier, the father of Veterans Home Care Regional Manager Dana Taylor.
Dale, a Perryville, MO native and resident, served in Vietnam for one year and seven months. A member of the U.S. Army he received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and was named to the Wall of Honor at the John J. Pershing Veterans Administration Medical Center in Poplar Bluff, MO.
Monier said he was wounded in Vietnam and the fighting was intense. “They knew I had a background in construction and wanted me to help clear heavy swamp so vehicles could get through. It was a difficult situation with the Vietnamese and with many hiding in the grasslands you really didn’t know who was good and who was bad.”
He added, “It was almost unbearable at time because of the weather. It was extremely hot and then it would rain for seemingly months at a time.”
Monier said he is happy to have a special holiday specifically for those who served in Vietnam. Now retired, he attends a weekly get together at the Missouri National Veterans Memorial in Perryville, https://mvnmfund.org, the only full-scale Vietnam Memorial Wall other than the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC.
“We exchange stories and I have made many friends. You get to know many of these great people over time and learn not only about their military background but also about their family and lives.”
Ron Fontenot also served during the Vietnam era. Though he didn’t see combat, the U.S. Army veteran helped repair helicopters and performed maintenance primarily at Fort Still in Oklahoma.
Fontenot, a Bernie, MO resident who still lives at home with assistance of the VetAssist® program, said he enjoyed his time in the military. “I was glad to contribute to the effort and made some good friends whom I keep in touch with to this day. I have lots of good stories to share.”
Ron and dozens of Vietnam era veterans are able to remain in their home thanks to a little-known VA benefit called Aid and Attendance. The benefit enables them to utilize an in-home care giver through the VetAssist® Program.
The VetAssist® Program is offered by Veterans Home Care, a private company that contracts other private companies to provide care such as help with dressing, bathing, light housekeeping, medication reminders and more. VetAssist® provides free help with VA paperwork and other services. Vietnam era veterans who served in the military from the early 1960s to late1970s can check on their eligibility for the program online at VetAssist® Program: Apply for VA Aid and Attendance | Veterans Home Care.
The public is invited to honor all Vietnam veterans on March 29. You can visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, the Missouri National Veterans Memorial in Perryville, host or participate in a local commemorative event, or simply pay tribute on social media to a loved one or friend who served during the Vietnam era.