The EC-47 History Site mail-out program for the Commemorative Vietnam veteran and deceased Vietnam veteran surviving spouse lapel pin and certificate is a popular service provided through this website. Recipients include those who registered for but were unable to attend a San Angelo ceremony and those who live outside the area of other CPP registered organizations. The most recent recipients are featured in pictures and mini-biographies in the slideshow above. Click on the individual photos to read each expanded story or click HERE to see all their pictures and stories in a single .pdf document. Click your browser return arrow to return to this page.
VETERANS DAY PARADE & PINNING CEREMONY REPORT
(New photos added on Thursday, November 19th)
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The San Angelo Veterans Day downtown parade and Vietnam War Commemoration pinning ceremony planners adopted the Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans theme for both events. For the downtown event, the Concho Valley Transit District (CVTD) provided buses to transport Vietnam veterans and Certificate of Honor recipients in the parade. The City of San Angelo Recreation Department provided the El Paseo de Santa Angela west pavilion and parking as a staging area for the bus entries. Veterans and families were greeted upon arrival at the Paseo by a contingent of US Marine Corps students stationed at Goodfellow AFB, the City of San Angelo Mayor pro tem, and volunteers from the Heritage Chapter-FTVA, American Legion, East Angelo Lions, and Elks Lodge organizations.
Attendees were checked in as volunteers placed their individual name placards under the windows of the buses to identify where they were seated. Fresh coffee and pastries were provided by the Sherwood Way/Southland area Starbucks. Bottled water was provided by Elks Lodge #1880. The EC-47 History Site provided pump-bottle hand sanitizers, containers of sanitary wipes, and a free face mask for those who needed one. At 10:00 am, the 5-bus convoy departed towards downtown led by the American Legion Post 572 parade vehicle decorated with a wonderful array of service flags and banners. Once the parade started, the CVTD vehicles and Vietnam veterans and their family members were loudly and cheerfully greeted and applauded throughout the entire parade route.
After the parade, the buses returned to the Paseo where they were greeted with shouts of Welcome Home by other veterans and additional family members gathered there for the Commemoration ceremony. The Paseo was decorated with materials provided by the CPP organizations. This included a Welcome Home banner, a triple-wreath featuring Commemoration lapel pins, a central array of flags, and a display table with commemoration provided proclamations, fact sheets, brochures, tin pins, and bumper stickers. (Attempts were made to display the commemoration tri-fold service posters and allied country flag placards, but the West Texas winds made that an impossible task.) City staff and volunteers had prearranged the other tables and chairs according to city COVID protocols. There were clearly marked hand sanitizer stations and “face masks are required” posters. The city recreation department also provided and operated the public address system.
The American Legion Post 572 emcee opened the 1-hour program by introducing special guests and extending a Welcome Home greeting to all Vietnam veterans. The emcee provided a recap detailing the genesis of the national Vietnam War Commemoration program and the subsequent growth of the local Commemorative Partner Program (CPP) veteran recognition ceremonies. Five deceased Vietnam veteran surviving spouses (DVVSS) were introduced and presented a Commemoration Certificate of Honor and Blue Star lapel pin by the commander of the Tom Green County All Veterans Council, Luis Martinez. Two veteran sons accompanying their mothers were also introduced and presented a special “All Wars” veteran lapel pin and a certificate designed by the EC-47 History Site CPP committee.
The VFW deejay then played a medley of the service songs and a selection of popular music hits from the 1960s and 1970s. (This is always the veteran’s favorite part of these ceremonies.) The emcee then “called the roll” and invited each veteran to the front of the assembly. Mayor pro tem Harry Thomas teamed with East Angelo Lions Club member Pat Dula to present a commemorative lapel pin and Certificate of Appreciation to each eligible attendee. CPP committee volunteers provided courtesy assistance to the presenters and recipients as needed. (Vietnam veteran names were announced, and a lapel pin and certificate were later mailed to those who had registered but were either unable to attend or had decided to not attend due to the COVID virus.)
The estimated 150 attendees wore COVID-19 face protection, practiced standard hand sanitization, and maintained social distancing to the extent practical. Photographs were taken of each recipient during the presentations as well as family and individual posed photos after the event. The deejay provided additional Vietnam era music during the closing, departure, and cleanup at the end of the event.
All attendees were invited to pick up a free hamburger/hotdog box lunch at the drive-through service provided by Elks Lodge 1880. The Lodge is located just a couple of blocks from the Paseo…the caravan of cars leaving the parking lot headed that way was a delightful sight. More than 300 photos taken by professional photographers Carl Bradley and Brit Raley are available HERE.
The photographers and website manager grant permission to download and use these images for personal use only. Users may not edit or change digital files with filters or any software without written permission from the photographers and website manager. This permission applies worldwide. The photographers retain the copyright to all images. Please credit them and the EC-47 History Site CPP website when downloading, using, or referencing these images in your personal work.
Click on the photos below for more information about mail-out recipients who were unable to attend the Paseo event cited above.