To recognize veterans of the Vietnam War, Milwaukie has become the first municipality in the Pacific Northwest to formally enter the U.S. Department of Defense’s Vietnam War Commemorative Partner Program.

Members of Milwaukie’s American Legion Post 180 were on hand at the Aug. 20 City Council meeting to present a commemorative proclamation from President Barack Obama and a Vietnam War 50th-anniversary commemorative flag.

by: PHOTO COURTESY: CITY OF MILWAUKIE - From left, Chuck Leverton, Brenda Micallef, Councilor Dave Hedges, Councilor Mark Gamba, Mayor Jeremy Ferguson, Jerry Craig, Ed Micallef, Councilor Scott Churchill, Councilor Mike Miller, Randy Hilly and Scott Southard.In 2015, 2016 and 2017, joint city-legion programs “will recognize the Vietnam veterans and their families’ service, valor and sacrifice.” Early ideas include organizing a Vietnam veteran’s parade at the opening of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Project in 2015, and bringing the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall to the city.

Councilor Mike Miller was a teacher during the war, and at the meeting he said a number of his students sacrificed their lives in Vietnam.

“I feel that this is something we need to do, that the city needs to do, to show our respect for those who have been in the military, to those who have come home, and to those we don’t know what has happened to them, and at this point, we may never will,” Miller said.

Obama proclaimed a 13-year program from May 28, 2012, through Nov. 11, 2025.

1. To thank and honor veterans of the Vietnam War, including personnel who were held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action, for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the U.S. and to thank and honor the families of these veterans.

2. To highlight the contributions of federal agencies and governmental and nongovernmental organizations that served with, or in support of, the armed forces.

3. To pay tribute to the contributions made on the home front by the American people during the war.

4. To highlight the advances in technology, science and medicine related to military research conducted during the Vietnam War.

5. To recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the allies of the U.S. during the war.

Jerry Craig, of Milwaukie’s post, said it’s an honor to become partners.

“It’s a neat deal,” Craig said. “Because we’re starting something here.”

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