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Ministry Spotlights
March 22, 2022

Recognizing USA Vietnam War Commemoration

Join the Diocese and the Nation: Thank a Vietnam Veteran

Across the Nation, Americans are uniting to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice on March 29, Vietnam Veterans Day. This is the main focus of The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration—a national 50th anniversary commemoration.

The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, through its Military Ministry, is an official Commemorative Partner in this effort. The call to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families is simple, but the Diocese can’t do it without your help. Nearly 600 Vietnam veterans are lost every day. Please join the Diocese and the Nation in honoring these brave men and women who served and sacrificed before the opportunity vanishes.

As an official Commemorative Partner in this effort, every diocesan congregation has the opportunity to honor Vietnam veterans through a special service of recognition and is invited to request Commemorative Packets from Military Ministry, for use at any time during the year.

Commemorative Packets will include Vietnam Veteran Service Pins, Surviving Spouse Pins, Presidential Proclamations, and other items listed below for veterans, their families, and those who want to show support.

The Commemoration Program runs through November 11, 2025. Congregations may request their Church Commemorative Packet by contacting Leslie Mixson, diocesan Development Assistant and Military Ministry liaison, at leslie.mixson@dwtx.org and (888/210) 824-5387.

For more information about the Commemoration Program or establishing a Military Ministry at your church, please contact Leslie Mixson at leslie.mixson@dwtx.org or the Rev. Karen Brandon, Military Ministry Co-Chair, at karenbrandon42@gmail.com.

Vietnam Veteran Commemoration Resources
Click here to visit The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration website.
Choosing When & How To Honor Vietnam Veterans

Any time you choose to honor VietnamVeterans through the Commemoration Program, which runs through November 2025, is appropriate. Vietnam Veterans Day (March 29th) and Veterans Day (November 11th), are also federally designated recognition days. Honoring veterans can be incorporated into weekly services, or smaller informal gatherings including coffee hour, or in conjunction with other gatherings - whatever works best for your church and community.

Church Commemorative Packets

Each Church Commemorative Packet will include:

  • 10 - Veteran Service Lapel Pins
  • 2 - Surviving Spouse Pins
  • 12 - Presidential Proclamations
  • 10 - Veteran Service Pin Fact Sheets
  • 2 - Surviving Spouse Pin Fact Sheets
  • 20 -Vietnam Veteran Supporter Pins (50th Anniversary & Join the Nation)
  • 10 - Vietnam Veteran Family Supporter Pins
  • 10 - Vietnam Veteran Supporter Magnets
  • 10 - Vietnam Veteran Supporter Stickers
Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How do I identify Vietnam veterans and family members in my congregation and in my community?
A: 
The "Identifying Veterans in your Congregation - Bulletin Insert" can be helpful in identifying veterans in your church. It can be found on the diocesan Military Ministry webpage.

Q: When could our church honor veterans and family members in our congregation?
A: Recognize veterans and their families during a weekly service, or small gathering such as a coffee hour or fellowship luncheon. Consider honoring in conjunction with a military observance day, such as Vietnam Veterans Day (March 29) or Veterans Day (November 11).

Q: What if there aren't any Vietnam veterans in our congregation?
A: Even if there aren't any Vietnam veterans in a congregation, chances are a church member knows a Vietnam veteran or surviving spouse. Congregations are encouraged to give the pins and other commemoration items with veterans and family members in the community as well as within your congregation. Consider connecting with other local churches and with organizations that support veterans and their families.

Q: Are there suggested liturgies for honoring veterans during an Episcopal service? How have other churches honored Vietnam veterans?
A: 
The "Military Ministry Tool Kit" includes resources for prayers and other templates for honoring veterans. It can be found on the diocesan Military Ministry webpage. Other examples include:

Q: What community organizations could congregations partner with in order to recognize veterans?
A: 
Visit the official Commemorative Partner Map and search for other partners in your area.
Other community partners could include: 

Q: How can churches incorporate the Presentation of Colors into a service or recognition gathering?
A: 
Consider contacting local veteran service organizations or student groups such as Civil Air Patrol or ROTC, for assistance with ceremonies. Congregations may also contact the Rev. Scott Brown, TMI Episcopal Head of School, for information about partnering with the TMI Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC).

Q: How can churches request additional Veteran Service Lapel Pins or Surviving Spouse Pins?
A: 
Each Church Commemorative packet will include 10 Veteran Service Lapel Pins and 2 Surviving Spouse Pins. Additional pins may be requested by contacting the diocesan office or the Rev. Karen Brandon.

Military Ministry strongly recommends identifying veterans and surviving spouses, and confirming attendance, prior to a church service or event honoring veterans to ensure you have enough pins. Military Ministry will make every effort to secure additional pins for churches, but please request at least three weeks in advance of the service or event.

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