Tooele City will remember those who served in the Armed Forces during Vietnam Veterans Day on Wednesday, March 29.
During their business meeting on March 15, the Tooele City Council proclaimed March 29 to be National Vietnam War Veteran’s Day in the city in order to remind residents to thank a veteran and remember their service in the war.
“We in Tooele City come together to offer our respects to the incredible veterans who left their homes in this great city and state to serve their fellow countrymen, and furthermore express our sincerest gratitude, especially to those who reside in Tooele City today,” said Tooele City Mayor Debbie Winn.
Vietnam Veteran’s Day is celebrated each year on March 29, because President Barack Obama signed a presidential proclamation designating the day as the annual observance of Vietnam War Veterans Day. In 2017, President Donald Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Act of 2017. March 29, 1973 is the day the last U.S. combat forces were withdrawn from Vietnam.
Now, Tooele City has promised to observe the day too.
“Millions of American men and women served in various capacities throughout the duration of the war exhibiting unparalleled courage, patriotism, and devotion to service,” Winn said. “This provides the opportunity to recognize, honor, and thank our Vietnam veterans.”
The war took place from 1955 to 1975.
In May, 2020, Tooele City officials unveiled a bronze statue honoring Vietnam veterans at Veteran’s Memorial Park.
The eight-foot, nearly five-food wide statue highlights a lesser-known aspect of the war: tracker dogs.
During the Vietnam War, many soldiers volunteered to travel to Malaysia and receive special training with dogs, which were usually Labradors, by the British and the Malaysian Government. When training was complete, they would head back to Vietnam to begin their service.
Their job was to reestablish contact with the enemy, keep watch for possible enemy activities, and locate lost or missing friendly personnel, according to Marvin Hitesman, a local artist who created the statue.
The methods that they used included visual and canine tactical tracking.
Because the British weren’t supposed to be involved in the war, the combat records of the soldiers were never recorded.
The statue is located on the southeast corner of the park by the flags and is on ground level, so members of the community can view it easier.