Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and Commissioner Jeff Tobolski (16th), chairman of the County Board’s Veterans Committee, today recognized hundreds of Vietnam War-era veterans for their sacrifice and service to nation as part of the national Vietnam War Commemoration program.
The veterans gathered at Brookfield Zoo and were saluted for their service in wartime.
“Those who fought and served with honor during the Vietnam era deserve our gratitude and respect for answering the nation’s call to duty,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. “I want to thank those veterans of the Vietnam War, and their families, who are here today.”
“As Chairman of the Veterans Committee, I am honored to host this recognition ceremony in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War,” Commissioner Tobolski said. “Cook County is forever grateful to the men and women who served during the Vietnam War. Welcome home.”
The ceremony today was part of a national program that recognizes Vietnam veterans. The 2008 National Defense Authorization Act authorizes the Secretary of Defense to conduct a commemorative program that honors the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War throughout the U.S. Cook County is a commemorative partner in the program.
The commemoration honors the service of the U.S. armed forces during the Vietnam War, acknowledges the contributions made by the people of the U.S. during the war, recognizes technological and scientific advances related to military research conducted during the Vietnam War, and recognizes U.S. allies during the war.
The veterans each received several items, including a lapel pin inscribed with the words “A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You.”
The event was organized by Commissioner Tobolski and Bill Browne, Director of the Cook County Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).
Preckwinkle created the County’s first-ever Department of Veterans Affairs in 2013.The DVA works with Cook County employee-veterans and collaborates with veterans organizations in providing information for and helping direct veterans to programs and benefits based on their military service.