Fort Sill – Service members returning from the recent wars have received heroes’ welcome. This wasn’t true for our Vietnam veterans and the Lawton-Fort Sill community is going to fix that.
All Vietnam veterans are invited to be the guests of honor during a weekend celebration filled with special events March 29 and 30.
Friday’s events will take place on Fort Sill. Veterans will participate in a welcome home procession and ceremony, be honored at a luncheon and the post’s monthly retirement ceremony, and enjoy special museum tours.
The Saturday event will take place in Lawton. Veterans will be honored with a celebratory commemoration at 11 a.m. at McMahon Auditorium. Gen. (retired) Gordon R. Sullivan, former Army Chief of Staff, President of the Association of the United States Army and a Vietnam veteran, will speak.
On Friday, veterans are asked to arrive at 9 a.m. and park at the U.S. Field Artillery Museum inside Key Gate. They and their family members will board buses for the procession to Rinehart Fitness Center at 9:45 a.m.
We are asking everyone in the community to line the streets along the procession route to give these veterans a heroes’ welcome.
Upon arrival at Rinehart Fitness Center, the veterans will be mustered to march into the Fitness Center to grateful cheers from those gathered at 10 a.m. Fort Sill’s Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, will welcome all those gathered and say a few remarks.
Immediately following the ceremony, the veterans will be honored at a luncheon at the Historic Patriot Club. Reservations are limited and can be made by calling 580-595-4559 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From 1 to 1:45 p.m., the veterans will be invited to tour the National Historic Landmark and Museum and the Sherman House, the commanding general’s home on the Old Post Quadrangle.
Then at 2 p.m., the veterans will gather on the Quadrangle to be honored at Fort Sill’s Monthly Retirement Ceremony.
The weekend events conclude with a Vietnam War Commemoration, Saturday, March 30, 11 a.m. at McMahon Auditorium. Keynote speaker is Gen. Sullivan.
Everyone is encouraged to come out and support the Vietnam veterans at all the events, but most especially by lining the procession route and attending the celebrations. For more information, call 580-442-2521 or go to www.okvietnamwar50th.com.