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Ceremonies honor Manteca’s Vietnam veterans
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State VFW representative Mike Maynor, District 13, Senior Vice President and Manteca VFW Post Commander Bill Canfield welcomed veterans to Friday morning’s ceremonies.

Vietnam veterans were honored Friday with ceremonies and a breakfast at the Manteca Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6311 on Moffat Boulevard. 

Post Commander Bill Canfield welcomed his guests to the celebration and the breakfast at the Bugle Boy Café located in the hall.

The doors were open to all veterans in Manteca in observance if Vietnam Veterans Day that was signed into law by President Donald Trump in 2017 designating every March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.  It was the day military assistance Command Vietnam was deactivated.

Vietnam Veterans Day commemorates the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans and is part of a national effort to recognize the men and women who returned home more than 40 years ago.  On that day in 1973 the last combat troops were withdrawn from Vietnam and the last prisoners of war held in North Vietnam arrived on American soil.     

Kitty Walker, president of the VFW Auxiliary, called out the families of service men and women who had lost their lives in battle in the distant battlefield. Walker carried a large vase of yellow and red roses, handing a single rose to the family members seated around the hall. Those in attendance filed out of the front door and took part in a salute to the flag as it was retired to half staff status in honor of those men and women lost in Vietnam. 

The American War Library estimates approximately 610,000 who served in Vietnam between 1954 and 1975 are alive today.  Studies have shown that some 22 veterans were dying daily by suicide over the years or one every 65 minutes.  About 9.2 million Americans served in the Vietnam era between 1964 and 1975. 

At the conclusion of the ceremonies Sgt. Ivan Lopez played taps.  

Draftees in Vietnam accounted for 17,725 combat deaths in Vietnam. 

To contact Glenn Kahl, email