March 30, 2019
1 - 3 p.m.
Easton High School Cafeteria
Talbot Hospice is partnering with Coastal Hospice and Palliative Care and Compass Regional Hospice to organize a free regional event for Veterans — Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day, which will take place March 30 at 1 p.m. at the Easton High School cafeteria, 723 Mecklenburg Ave. The event is a way to commemorate the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans and their families and is part of a national effort to recognize the men and women who were denied a proper welcome upon returning home more than 40 years ago.
The event will include several speakers; special music; local, state and national resources for veterans; a pinning ceremony; and light refreshments.Other special inclusions during the day will be a performance from the Easton High School Color Guard and a visit from the Hogs and Heroes Foundation MD-8 Salisbury, a community of motorcycle riders that support public safety, the U.S. military and Wounded Warriors. Trained grief counselors will be on hand from each hospice agency, in order to offer support to those who may wish to seek comfort during the day, as it is not uncommon for many veterans, their families and community members to experience a high degree of emotions when recalling times of war or military service.
The event is free and open to anyone who wishes to thank our Vietnam veterans for their service. To learn more about the event or to register, visit www.bit.ly/WHVV2019 or call Katie Willis at 443-262-4100, ext. 177.
All three hospice organizations are partners in the We Honor Veterans program, a campaign developed by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, in collaboration with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Through the We Honor Veterans program, Coastal Hospice and Palliative Care, Compass Regional Hospice and Talbot Hospice gratefully acknowledge their military and service men, women and families. The mission of the program is to serve the nation’s veterans, who have served their country so selflessly, during their end-of-life journey.
Sergeant Major Donna Dear, Retired, US Army, is a Vietnam Veteran with 27 years active military service including a tour during the Gulf War. Dear was one of the first 45 women who went to Vietnam, who were sent there to activate a detachment and see how they would fare in a combat zone. She was a part of the Women’s Army Corp at a time when neither, women or blacks were welcome. Locally Dear was the first female commander of the American Legion Blake Blackston Post 77. In 2018 she received the Talbot County NAACP Veteran of the Year Award.
Gene Feher, Sr. Vice Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5118, will give a brief summary of our involvement in the war and a brief history of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., and its symbolism. Gene went to Vietnam in mid-1969 and was trained as a combat engineer. He was stationed with the 25th Infantry Division in Tay Ninh Province, and shortly thereafter was recruited as a radio operator with a top secret clearance. He served one year in country and spent the last two months of his tour in Cambodia.
Keynote speaker Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins was born in Cambridge and grew up on the Eastern Shore. Adkins has nearly 40 years of military service with the U.S. Army. He is a retired senior military officer and former cabinet-level official in state government and served as Maryland’s Adjutant General and Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Adkins has received many military decorations, including the Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Service Medal. Among his many scholarly accomplishments, he has received senior military education at the U.S. Army Command; General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He also is a graduate of Washington College in Chestertown, where he received his master’s degree in history. Adkins is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and the Vietnam Veterans of America.