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Local Vietnam veterans honored with pins, meal

By Caitlen Cameron • Updated Nov 20, 2017 at 6:18 PM

NEW LONDON — “Honor” and “thankful” were two words used commonly Saturday night at the Hileman building in New London as veterans and their families gathered to celebrate the presentation of the lapel pins and other honors.

“This isn’t only about those with boots on the ground, one could not have done their job without the service of the cooks, truck drivers, pilots, this is for recognition of all,” said David Smith commander of American Legion post 292.

The Vietnam pins presented represented the commemoration the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War issued on May 28, 2012 by former president Barack Obama. An excerpt from proclamation stated this is “a 13-year program to honor and give thanks to a generation of proud Americans who saw our country through one of the most challenging missions we have ever faced.”

Other honors presented included the Gold Star lapel pin, which honors widows of those who were killed in combat, and the Silver Rose medal, which honors those who were exposed to Agent Orange while deployed. 

After the recognition, local Girl Scout Troop 1117 served a Thanksgiving-themed meal including turkey, stuffing and pie.

“I am honored and proud New London was chosen to host a pinning of Vietnam-era veteran’s along with honoring Blue Star families and to honor those deserving The Order of the Silver Rose recognition,” said Mayor John Martin, who also is a veteran.

Pins will be awarded until Nov. 11, 2025. Veterans who have yet to be recognized can contact their local American Legion for information on finding the next local commemorative event. 

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