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Vietnam 50th Anniversary Commemoration Aug. 11, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Lewis Army Museum hosts all-day event featuring reenactors, music and military vehicles

1970 Fort Lewis Vietnam mockup training. Photo provided by Lewis Army Museum

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What better way to help Vietnam veterans "Heal and Honor", then by honoring them with an all-day event that will feature prominent guest speakers who served in Vietnam, Vietnam reenactors, as well as special music, military vehicle displays and tours of the Lewis Army Museum.

The Vietnam 50th Anniversary Commemoration at the Lewis Army Museum will take place Saturday, Aug. 11, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Lewis Army Museum director, Erick Flint, will be speaking on the role Fort Lewis played during the war as a major basic combat training center, advanced infantry training center, and as one of only two transition points for troops deploying to, and returning from, Vietnam. 

"We are in the midst of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War which, for many veterans, is a time for reflection and remembrance," said Erik Flint, Lewis Army Museum director. "We wanted to create an event where Vietnam veterans could gather, remember and share their experiences with one another and the public."

Along with sharing stories and memories, attendees will also view the physical equipment from Vietnam.

"We wanted an opportunity to showcase the tangible hardware of the time (i.e. vehicles, uniforms, weapons, equipment, etc.) and give both veterans and the public the chance to view and appreciate the tools of war to foster a greater understanding of the war, its participants and its enduring impact," added Flint.

The idea for the Vietnam 50th Anniversary Commemoration actually came while the museum was planning the centennial of Camp Lewis (1917-2017) and realized that they were in the midst of the 50th Anniversary of Vietnam.

"This will be the museum's single largest public event in many years. We will have our civilian access parking lot open which will allow the general public expedited access to the museum and the event," said Flint. "This event will give veterans the opportunity to meet with their fellow veterans as well as the general public in order to foster a better understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices of the veterans of the Vietnam War."

There will be around a dozen period military vehicles ranging from jeeps to trucks, and will even include a Navy River Patrol Boat (PBR) that visitors will be able to climb aboard.

"All are welcome! Whether you're a military history enthusiast, or a veteran from any era, to anyone with an interest in learning more about the history of U.S. military," Flint concluded.

To learn more information about the Lewis Army Museum, please visit their website. 

Vietnam 50th Anniversary Commemoration, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 11, Lewis Army Museum, 4320 Main St. and Constitution Dr., Joint Base Lewis-McChord,

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