Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) Commanding Officer CAPT Brian Durant pauses with ten Vietnam War Veterans after personally honoring them with commemorative pins and certificates during a ceremony at the command's Vietnam Commemoration held at the University of Mary Washington, Aug. 11. The event's keynote speaker, Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught, USAF retired, (left) recounted the women in service - as well as her own service - during the Vietnam era and the challenges they faced. She was the first woman to deploy with an Air Force bomber unit, the first Air Force woman graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and one of the most-decorated military women in U.S. history.
NSWCDD hosted the event in recognition of the Commemoration. By Presidential Proclamation, the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War continues through November 11, 2025. President Obama initiated the observance on May 28, 2012. By this proclamation, the Commander in Chief calls upon every federal, state, and local official to honor our Vietnam Veterans, former POWs, those who are MIA and their families with appropriate ceremonies and activities. NSWCDD partnered with the office of the Secretary of Defense to honor these patriots in accordance with Public Law 110-181 SEC.598; the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. "As a commemorative partner of the DoD Vietnam War Commemoration, we pay tribute to more than 3 million service men and women," said Durant in an email to NSWCDD personnel. "We must never forget the service, valor, and sacrifice they made on behalf of the United States of America."