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MCLB Albany Commissary honors Vietnam War veterans, families

By Verda L. Parker | | November 14, 2013

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The Department of Defense recently recognized Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s Commissary for its commemorative partnership in honoring Vietnam War veterans, their families, and those who served with the country’s armed services.

The DoD’s recognition of Defense Commissary Agencies worldwide led

to the creation of a memorial ceremony that was  held at each commissary, during the Veterans Day weekend, between Saturday through Monday.

Spectators, customers and onlookers gathered in front of MCLB Albany’s Commissary for the Vietnam War Veterans Commemorative event and the unveiling of the newly-designed DoD flag during the ceremony, here, Nov. 7.

The event represented the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

J. D. Armstrong, a Vietnam War veteran, was the honoree at the ceremony.

Armstrong, who devoted “20 years and one week” of service in the U.S. Navy, said he was honored to be present for the unveiling of the commemorative flag and ceremony.

“I was stationed at the (Naval Base) in Charleston, South Carolina,” the veteran recalled. “I remember being put on a plane and flown over there (to Vietnam).”

Armstrong said, “It makes me proud that we are being recognized and honored for the service and sacrifice all Vietnam War (veterans) have made to our country.”

After the presentation of the commemorative flag, the base commanding officer, Col. Don Davis, remembered his own father, who was a Vietnam War veteran, and thanked Armstrong for his service and sacrifice to the country.

“I am very humbled to be standing alongside a fine American like Mister Armstrong, who represents Vietnam veterans across this community and across the country,” Davis said. “For us to recognize them in such a way that they may not have received when they first got home only helps to comfort them from the scars that they received from the war, and from the welcome that they didn’t get when they got home.

“This is a very small outreach to them to extend our gratitude to them,” the base commander added.  “I am very grateful to the Department of Defense for designing this flag and to the Defense Commissary Agency for giving us this opportunity to recognize our veterans who sacrificed a lot for us.”

Comments and accolades for the sacrifices of all Vietnam War veterans were unanimously echoed by others who attended the ceremony.

“First, I am so proud to have served my country with the United States Marine Corps,” retired 1st Sgt. Anthony K. Wade, operations and plans specialist, Operations and Training Division, MCLB Albany, said.

Wade continued, “As for Mister Armstrong and other Vietnam War veterans who have made it possible for me to serve, I would like to thank him for his service during that time. I know that it is long overdue, but I really look up to those guys and would like to honor them for paving the way.”
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