NEWBURGH – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus attended a touching event to mark the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War on Saturday, April 1st at the Armory Unity Center in Newburgh.
The ceremony was hosted by the County’s Veterans Service Agency (VSA) in conjunction with the Cemetery of the Highlands. Christian Farrell, Director of the County’s VSA, served as the master of ceremonies. Neuhaus, a Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves, pinned several Vietnam veterans during the 45-minute program.
Assemblymen Chris Eachus and Brian Maher also attended the event
“Sadly, many Vietnam veterans were denied a proper welcome when they returned home after bravely serving our country on the battlefield,” Neuhaus said. “Their service and sacrifices will never be forgotten, and we appreciate the many contributions that these men and women have made to Orange County. The event was a touching and moving tribute to all of those who served and perished during the 20-year conflict.”
Fifty years ago on March 29, 1973, the last United States combat troops left South Vietnam, ending America’s direct military involvement in the Vietnam War. It was also around this date that North Vietnam released the last of its acknowledged U.S. prisoners of war. The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act was signed into law in 2017 and designated March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
“It was gratifying to recognize our Vietnam veterans who sacrificed so much for us, but never received the proper welcome home upon returning from the battlefield,” Farrell said.
“Saturday’s event was a testament to how much Orange County cares about its veterans and it was moving to witness.”