SAINT PAUL, Minn. – This year marks the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the start of the Vietnam War. Today, in recognition of Minnesota Vietnam Veterans Day, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) and the Minnesota Twins announce a partnership to honor Vietnam Veterans. In April, June and September, more than 30 Minnesota Vietnam Veterans will raise the American Flag at the start of Minnesota Twins baseball games. MDVA Commissioner Larry Shellito, a Vietnam Veteran will kick off the partnership by raising the flag at the April 3 game.
"Together with the Minnesota Twins, we are not only honoring Minnesota Veterans who served in Vietnam, but we are taking this time to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and those who are still missing. As a Vietnam Veteran, I can tell you that this recognition is an important part of healing for many Veterans who served in Vietnam," said Larry Shellito, Commissioner of Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs. “This is just one of many events and partnerships planned throughout 2013 to commemorate this important anniversary.”
Minnesota has a significant military history related to Vietnam. There are approximately 130,000 Vietnam-era Veterans in Minnesota, with this group representing the largest percentage of Minnesota’s 372,000 Veterans. At 7.5 million, Vietnam-era Veterans also represent the largest group of the 22.7 million Veterans in the United States. In 2009, Minnesota was one of the first states in the country to enact a law observing March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day. This date signifies the troop withdrawal from Vietnam.