National Vietnam War Veterans Day in Walla Walla - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

National Vietnam War Veterans Day in Walla Walla

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WALLA WALLA, WA - Thursday was National Vietnam War Veterans Day, and VA's all across the country used the day as a way to honor those who fought courageously more than 40 years ago.

With nearly 9 million Americans serving during the war and approximately 7 million still living, the Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center in Walla Walla hosted an event for our vets, choosing to honor and thank them with a special recognition and pinning ceremony.

"We just want to say thank you, just have a little celebration and let them know we care about them and we're thinking about them," said Marvin "Ray" Crawford, associate director at the VA Medical Center. "But not only the people who are here but the people who are not here, that's the biggest thing to me. A lot of people gave everything that they had and they're not here to celebrate with us, so we just want to honor those people too."

Veterans from all over the area came to the ceremony to receive tokens of gratitude and appreciation in the form of pins from the U.S. Vietnam War commemoration. 

The pins are presented to all those who served on active duty in the armed forces at any time, regardless of where they served between November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975.

Getting a pin means a great deal to these veterans, who appreciate the honor after all these years.

"Any time that we can honor our Vietnam veterans, it was a long time to hear any thank yous from people, so now we hear it all the time," said veteran Bob Brock.

Former service members like Buddy Georgia think events like these also give vets the chance to reconnect and thank their fellow servicemen and women.

"But, it was a pin in recognition of service and I'm thankful for that," Georgia said. "As I say, welcome home works for me but I certainly welcome the chance to say thank you to my brothers and sisters who are able to be here with us also."