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Vietnam War 50 Year Celebration

By Peter Fontanilla, President Emeritus - IFPTE Local 121

To all who have served in the Vietnam War (1960-1975), an official welcome home event commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War will take place on Memorial Day weekend 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Peter Fontanilla, President Emeritus of IFPTE Local 121, is a Vietnam Veteran (1969-1970). He and some local Hawaii friends served in Vietnam and were stationed at a base called DaNang Air Base in South Vetnam, between 1969 and 1971.

Said Fontanilla,"Our base was known as the "Gun Fighters" Village. We each spent a year there and during that time we got to know each other really well that we could be considered a "Band of Brothers". When each of us returned from serving in Vietnam, we were never given any type of a welcoming. In fact we made sure not to be seen in an American military uniform for fear that the Vietnam Vet would have been spit on and be called "baby killers" by many protesters of the war during that time.

Honolulu and its historic Waikiki Beach serves as a perfect host and backdrop for this important commemoration and welcoming home.

For many of our honored Vietnam Veterans, Hawaii was the last American soil they saw before their life was cut short in Vietnam. In many cases, Hawaii was also the first American soil they stepped foot upon when coming home.

After all these past years of celebrating and honoring the return of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans as heroes, America has finally recognized the service and sacrifice of the Vietnam Veterans who served our nation for the great cause of liberty and freedom.

Said Fontanilla, "I am very proud of being a Vietnam Vet and truly grateful that this nation has finally realized the sacrifice and service of the Vietnam Veterans. In this coming celebration, the Band of Brothers plan on participating in the parade through Waikiki. We plan on getting a flat bed truck and placing large banners on both sides of the truck to indicate we were the "Gun Fighters of Gun Fighter Village."

The official welcome home parade will take place Saturday, May 27, 2017 in Waikiki Hawaii at 6pm.

Marching bands from across the country are invited to attend in honor of the brave men and women who served their country in the Vietnam War. A week full of events, May 23-29, 2017, is scheduled for the celebration and commemoration of the 50 years since the Vietnam War ended.

For more information and the schedule of events, you can visit the website:

Reprinted from IFPTE Local 121's ALOHA September newsletter

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