Updated: Apr 13, 2019
By Mark Rhodes
On April 9th, 2019 at 10:00, volunteer members of the local Marine Corps League, Detachment 1267, Col. Phillip C DeLong, and members of the Vietnam War Commemoration Partner Committee, assembled at the Buffalo Crossing Assisted Living Facility, in The Villages, Florida. Their purpose: To present honors to the residents, and in accordance with Public Law 110-181 SEC.598: award the "Congressionally authorized" "Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin", to those veterans who served in the military during the Vietnam War. Also recognized were "Surviving Spouses" of veterans who served during the Vietnam War.
The ceremony began with the presentation of Colors, and the Pledge of Allegiance, by members of the MCL Det 1267 Color Guard.
Lucy Speith, after receiving her "Certificate of Honor"
Upon retirement of the Color Guard, the Surviving Spouses were escorted to center stage, where they were honored and thanked for their efforts and support of their spouses who served during the Vietnam War.
Lucy Speith (L), and Lynn Rasmussen (B), were each presented with a "Certificate of Honor"and a "Deceased Vietnam Veteran's Surviving Spouse" lapel pin, in recognition of their husbands Robert Speith, and Paul Rasmussen's faithful service during the Vietnam War.
Lynn Rasmussen is escorted by Mark Rhodes after receiving her "Certificate of Honor".
Reggie Nealy presents honors to Byron Bond
The Partner Committee then proceeded to honor a total of 19 veterans who served between 1 November 1955-15 May 1975 regardless of location of service. and served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the period during the period.
Reggie Nealy present honors to Howard Bond
Byron (father) and (son) Howard Bond, (pictured below) both served during the Vietnam War. Byron entered during WW2 in the Army-Air Corps, and retired after 29 years from the Air Force. Howard served in the Army as an Artillery Officer.
Father & Son (Howard & Byron Bond)
Receiving honors from Reggie Nealy & "Garf" Cooper, Veteran John Sullivan after receiving his VN Lapel Pin.
This event was very successful in bring awareness of the Vietnam War Commemoration program and honor veterans unable to get around on their own. All qualified veterans in attendance were presented with a pin and the Presidential Proclamation.
In attendance were an estimated total 50 people. 19 were veterans, 15 were direct family members. 9 were friends and facility staff. 7 members of the Marine Corps League, Det. 1267, (4 Color Guard/ 3 Committee Partners). This event was covered by the local news paper, The Villages Daily Sun. A link to the story is included here. Vets Welcome
"Garf" Cooper & Veteran Charlie McMillian
Reggie Nealy & Randy Lyons
Reggie Nealy & Larry Keiley
Reggie Nealy & Ron Newton
Reggie Nealy & Bob Tenefrancia
Pinning Ceremony April 9th 2019, (L-R) Robert Tenefrancia, "Garf" Cooper, Ron Newton, "Reggie" Nealy, Larry Keiley, Lou Calleja, Randy Lyons
(L-R) Kathy & Randy Lyons, Larry Keiley, Ron & Jill Newton, Bob Tenefrancia, Mark Rhodes
For more information on the Vietnam War Commemoration Program, click the following link.