Letter to the Editor: Events pay tribute to Vietnam veterans


These past weeks have been a historic time, not only for those who served and lived through the Vietnam War but to succeeding generations of veterans and their families who benefit from the fight to address service-related injuries.

Thank you to Sen. Dave Lawson, R-Marydel, for the March 29 tribute, endorsed by every member of our state’s Senate. Ten veterans were invited to the podium, as Sen. Lawson, a fellow Vietnam veteran, read a tribute unanimously endorsed by all 21 senators. The date was significant because it marked 50 years since the end of U.S. combat engagement in Vietnam. The tribute was preceded by a reception in a second-floor caucus room hosted by Sen. Lawson. The majority of our group’s 75-plus-year-old members, who, in our youth, tap-danced down stairs, used handrails on the way down to the Senate.

Last November also marked the 40th anniversary of the dedication of the national Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, D.C., as was acknowledged by keynote speaker Jan Scruggs (founder of the wall) at our March 25 event that was moved indoors to Dover’s Levy Court chambers due to weather. The transition was simplified by recently arrived county administrator Ken Decker, who, along with county IT guru Mark Kennedy, made the ceremony very audience- and family-friendly. The event included the presentation of Chapter 850’s 14th service dog to a disabled veteran.

On March 31, U.S. Marine Corps veteran Danny Garcia and his wife, Jackie, made Dover a stop on their Honor Walk 2023 at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park. Sgt. Garcia, a Vietnam veteran, is known as “The Walking Man.” Since 1996, he’s walked over six continents, praying for children, first responders and world peace. His wife, Jackie, a retired Air Force officer, accompanies him.

Bob Hartley of Dover’s MainStay Suites provided lodging for the couple.

Danny Garcia’s book, “Marines Don’t Cry: Delivering the Message at All Costs,” covers his remarkable journey from young combat Marine to corporate trainer, law enforcement officer and ordained minister, guided on the self-discipline he learned in the Marines. The book is available on Amazon.

Most of all, thank you to the 3 million young men and women who served in Vietnam, especially the at least 58,292 on the wall, who will remain forever young to us. Nor can we forget the hundreds of thousands who returned with lifelong physical and psychological injuries.

God bless America and those who continue to defend her. They include our children and grandchildren.

Dave Skocik

President, Delaware Veterans Coalition


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