Common Defense Releases Statement Honoring National Vietnam War Veterans Day


WASHINGTON — Today is National Vietnam War Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor the U.S. military members who served in the Vietnam War. As we witness the ongoing war in Ukraine, today is also a reminder of the urgent need to end our Forever Wars and invest in programs and policies that support veterans and working class families at home.

Common Defense Executive Director Jose Vasquez released the following statement:

“The Vietnam War had a tremendous impact on American foreign policy and military doctrine—which still impacts people all over the world. Today, we have a chance to uplift the experiences of veterans who served in Vietnam. Decades later, the lessons of the destruction brought by the Vietnam War persist as a reminder that we have an obligation to end the forever wars of today, uplift and support veterans from all eras, and advocate for their protection well after they return home from service.

“To all Vietnam War Veterans, we thank you for your service. We see you, we hear you, we fight with you and we fight for you.

“From the stories and wisdom we have received from Vietnam veterans, it is clear America must be much more thoughtful before engaging in conflicts across the globe, particularly those which reflect the same sort of problems as the conflict in Vietnam. Rather than sink billions of dollars into these wars and the destructive military- industrial complex, we urge Congress to prioritize funding to address the inequities of our society, from the economy to health care to climate justice.

“We must take the lessons of the Vietnam War and its aftermath to heart. Vietnam veterans still to this day deal with the effects of toxic exposure to chemicals like Agent Orange, similar to how our post-9/11 veterans are dealing with toxic exposure from burn pits and other hazardous waste. It’s clear veterans of different eras share a common experience: the lack of support from the country which sent them to war, despite all of the ‘thank you for your service’ we hear.

“Thus, Congress must pass legislation which supports veterans and working class families, such as the Honor Our PACT Act, legislation that extends health benefits to veterans impacted by military-base burn pits. As veterans, we put our lives on the line for our country, and now it’s time for our country to make good on the promises made to us. Only by prioritizing people will we truly be able to build a society where liberty and justice are for all.”

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