Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Thursday is opening its gates to hundreds of Vietnam veterans for a special welcome home ceremony recognizing their service almost 40 years since American troops left Saigon.
The four-hour celebration begins at 1 p.m. at JBLM’s Watkins Field. It is scheduled to include a procession of military formations, opportunities for veterans to connect with troops and remarks by decorated Vietnam veteran retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey.
Military bases around the country have been hosting welcome home celebrations for Vietnam veterans to mark the war’s 50th anniversary for the past two years. By presidential order, the war’s 50th anniversary can be celebrated from 2012 until 2025.
Veterans are asked to enter through JBLM’s DuPont Gate at Exit 119 on Interstate 5. The gates open at 11 a.m.
More than 1,000 Vietnam-era veterans have made reservations to attend, but registration is not required.