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Murphy Honors More Than 40 Local Vietnam Veterans

Special Ceremony Part of Nationwide Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

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Longwood, FLA, September 11, 2018 | comments

U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy today honored more than 40 local Vietnam veterans as part of the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War -- a 13-year coordinated, nationwide campaign led by the U. S. Department of Defense.

At a special ceremony at Longwood VFW Post 8207, Murphy presented each veteran with a Vietnam veteran lapel pin to thank them for service and honor their sacrifice. The Vietnam veteran lapel pin displays an eagle on one side, representing each veteran’s courage, honor, and dedicated service, and a message on the back that simply reads: “a grateful nation thanks and honors you.”

Before honoring each veteran, Murphy expressed her gratitude to all veterans who served during the Vietnam period. She told her own personal story about how, when her family fled Communist Vietnam by boat and ran out fuel, food, and water, the U.S. Navy rescued her family at sea – allowing them to come to America and start a new life free from tyranny.

“The moment the U.S. Navy rescued my family was the moment that made the rest of my life possible,” said Murphy “There are simply no words I can say to adequately thank you, and no actions I can take to fully repay the debt of gratitude I owe you. But I’ll never stop trying.”

Murphy, who acknowledged the hostile environment many Vietnam veterans faced when they came home, said the ceremony “belated though it may be, is designed as a corrective; an effort to make sure you know how much your service and sacrifice are appreciated. No politics. No debates about foreign policy. Just a simple expression of gratitude for men and women who put it all on the line when their country called. And who, once their time in the service was over, fought so hard to make sure that veterans of their generation, and future generations, would be treated in a fair and dignified manner.”

U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy honors more than 40 local Vietnam veterans at a ceremony she hosted in Longwood on Sept. 11, 2018, as part of the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. Murphy, whose own family was rescued by the U.S. Navy when they fled Communist Vietnam, presented each veteran with a special Vietnam veteran lapel pin to thank them for their service and honor their sacrifice. (Editor’s Note: More photos are available upon request.)



The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that there are 7 million living Vietnam veterans in the U.S. and 9 million families of those who served. Murphy, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee and has been a champion of improving care for veterans and their families during her tenure in Congress, acknowledged the solemn day of the ceremony in her opening remarks.

“It’s fitting that we are holding this ceremony on the 17th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th. It was a tragic day filled with loss, but also a day that unified our nation and deepened our appreciation for the men and women in our military,” said Murphy.

The Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War honors all United States veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time between Nov. 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, regardless of where they served. Murphy said she intends to hold additional community ceremonies as part of this national commemoration so she may honor the many Vietnam veterans who live in central Florida.

Congress authorized the national commemoration in 2007 in the National Defense Authorization Act, which President George W. Bush signed into law on Jan. 28, 2008. The commemoration officially began with an event at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Memorial Day, May 28, 2012, and concludes on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2025. The goal, as stated by presidential proclamation, is to commemorate the 50th anniversary over a long period of time since many Americans served and sacrificed over a long period of time.

Veterans honored at the ceremony are listed below:

Name  Hometown 
Ali-Carr, Robert
Alicea, Jose  
Aughenbaugh, George
Aughenbaugh, Mary 
Beltz, Leslie
Beltz, Russell
Brown, James
Burkowsky, Michael
Burr, T. Shepard
Carveth, Sharon
Cashatt, Jeff
Cherry, Dean
Fragoso, Ralph
Gentile, Robert
Gilbert, John
Gogan, Peter
Hogan, James
Horton, Ralph 
Hyde, William
Jennison, Warren
Kreps, Jerilyn
Kreps, Robert
Lausell, Angel
Malanga, Bob
Mangham, Alton 
Maranville, Derryl
McCain, Alvin
McDonald, Jim
Ortiz, Carmelo
Parsons, George
Ray, Ken
Robinson, Fred
Saddler, Charles
Sauerman, David
Scott, John 
Smith, Harry
Turney, Jim
Umphrey, Walter
Wise, Donald
Wood, Ron
Woodcum, Dennis
Oviedo
Orlando
Winter Park
Winter Park
Orlando
Orlando
Orlando
Altamonte Springs
Sanford
Sanford
Casselberry
Winter Park
Altamonte Springs
Oviedo
Winter Park
Sanford
Orlando
Longwood
Oviedo
Sanford
Oviedo
Oviedo
Lake Mary
Heathrow
Winter Park
Winter Springs
Sanford
Lake Mary
Winter Springs
Maitland
Oviedo
Maitland
Lake Mary
Winter Park
Winter Springs
Chuluota
Altamonte Springs
Winter Springs
Winter Park
Altamonte Springs
Sanford
                     


                    
                          
                              
                   

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