Bob Schieffer, Anchor of  Face The Nation With Bob Schieffer and CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent. © Craig Blankenhorn. Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/CBS©CBS BROADCASTING INC.

Schieffer to Host MoCo Vietnam Veterans Salute on Oct. 24th

vietnamveteransBob Schieffer, who recently retired as host of  CBS’s Face the Nation, has agreed to be the host and guest speaker on Saturday, Oct. 24, as Montgomery County will honor the men and women who served the nation during the Vietnam War. The event will take place at the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, starting at 10:30 a.m.

The Vietnam War—which changed the lives of those who served and altered the political scene back home—ended for the United States in 1975. Honor and Gratitude: Montgomery Salutes Vietnam Veterans will be the first significant event in the 40 years since to honor the county’s Vietnam veterans. It is estimated that between 130 and 140 Montgomery County residents lost their lives in the Vietnam War. There are more than 13,000 Vietnam veterans currently living in Montgomery County.

County Executive Ike Leggett (who is a Vietnam vet), Council President George Leventhal and the County Council will lead the special ceremonies at the Universities at Shady Grove at 9630 Gudelsky Drive in Rockville. The event will be recorded and broadcast on many of the public cable television channels that compose Montgomery County’s PEG (Public, Education, Government) organization, which is hosting the event. In addition, the PEG organization is recording the stories of many of the veterans for a documentary.

The program will include a look back at some of the significant events of the U.S. involvement of the conflict that dates to July 8, 1959, when two U.S. military advisers were killed in a raid at Bien Hoa. More than 800 people are expected for the Oct. 24 event, including those who were present in major actions of the 11-year U.S. involvement. Those events included attacks on the USS Maddox in August 1964 that led to Congress on Aug. 7, 1964, passing the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution that gave President Lyndon Johnson the power to take whatever actions he saw necessary to defend South Vietnam against Viet Cong forces.

Honor and Gratitude: Montgomery Salutes Vietnam Veterans organizers are currently seeking to contact more of the veterans who will be honored on Oct 24. Those veterans, or family and friends of the veterans, seeking more information about the event should call 301.424.1730 at ext. 350. Additional details, including how to register to attend the free event, can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/pdo4h4q.

“It has been almost four decades since our Vietnam veterans returned home,” said County Executive Leggett. “We want to take this opportunity to acknowledge their courage and patriotism and say thank you for making the world a better place. As a veteran of the Vietnam War, I know the sacrifices that were made by members of our military during times of war. This event is a perfect way for all of us to pay tribute to these brave and honorable men and women.”

Bob Schieffer, Anchor of  Face The Nation With Bob Schieffer and CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent. © Craig Blankenhorn. Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/CBS©CBS BROADCASTING INC.

Bob Schieffer, Anchor of Face The Nation With Bob Schieffer and CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent. © Craig Blankenhorn. Photo: Craig Blankenhorn/CBS©CBS BROADCASTING INC.

Schieffer was a reporter for more than half a century and 2015 marked his 46th year at CBS News and his 24th anchoring Face the Nation. Prior to joining CBS in 1969, he was a reporter at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram where he was the first reporter from a Texas newspaper to report from Vietnam.

Schieffer has won virtually every award in broadcast journalism including eight Emmys, the overseas Press Club Award, the Paul White Award presented by the TV News Directors Association and the Edward R. Murrow Award given by Murrow’s alma mater Washington State University. In 2008, he was named a living legend by the Library of Congress. In 2013, Schieffer was inducted into the National Academy of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.

Speakers at the event will include veterans who served in various aspects of the Vietnam conflict. The event will honor their service and also will look at how those experiences influenced their lives since.

“So many in our community heroically served our nation, and the world, 40 years ago,” said Leventhal. “Oct. 24 will be a day where our County recognizes those whose actions helped that had such a great impact on our nation. There have been many books written, and many movies made, about the people we will honor, but on this day, we will personally thank—and hear directly from—some of the men and women who did so much to shape the life and freedom we know today.”

An important part of event will be the opportunity to record the stories of the Montgomery residents who served in Vietnam.

“Whether they were troops in the jungles, on helicopters and bombers, serving on the ships, the river patrol boats, in the medical corps or the troops supplying them all, there are stories that have yet to be told about Vietnam,” said Merlyn Reineke, chair of the PEG Governing Board. “This event will introduce a new generation to the sacrifices made by the brave men and women in Vietnam, and as the County’s cable providers, we will be there to preserve these stories so future generations will know about their heroism. It is hard to believe there has never been a major event to honor Montgomery County’s Vietnam vets, but we think this is the right time to salute them.”
 
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Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at sburke@mymcmedia.org or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.

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