Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration honors Year of the Veteran

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Retired Navy Lt. Cmdr. Bobbi Hovis shows off her Woman Veteran hat as she attends her fourth Hospice of the Chesapeake Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day. Hovis was the first Navy nurse to volunteer to go to Vietnam in 1963. Photo by Jim Welday

Last month, Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed 2019 the Year of the Veteran in Maryland. The proclamation raises awareness of the service of Maryland’s 380,000 veterans as well as highlights several significant military anniversaries. At the top of that list is the fifth anniversary of the first piece of legislation signed into law by Hogan which established Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.

Hospice of the Chesapeake is honored to be part of that historic moment, as it was at the nonprofit’s request that the legislation was introduced by state Sen. John Astle in 2015. The intent of the law was to celebrate and acknowledge every Vietnam Veteran and give them the warm welcome and gratitude they deserved five decades ago.

Just as they have done the last four years, the nonprofit invites Vietnam Veterans and their guests to find resources, a time of fellowship and a warm and hearty welcome at its 5th annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration. The event will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. March 29 at Baltimore BWI Hilton Hotel, 1739 W. Nursery Road, Linthicum, Maryland.

The doors will open at 4 p.m. so Vietnam Veterans can enjoy hors d’oeuvres and beverages while catching up with fellow brothers and sisters of the war. The 90 minutes prior to the start of the program also will be a time to visit with representatives from a number of agencies and organizations dedicated to assisting veterans.

The program will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will feature remarks from Dr. Scott Shreve, National Director of Hospice and Palliative Care for Veterans Affairs and retired Army Sgt. Major Rodwell L. Forbes, Fort George G. Meade’s former Garrison Command Sergeant Major, among others. Other highlights will include patriotic music performed by the U. S. Naval Academy Band and Voices of Vets, Honor Salutes led by Fort George G. Meade’s Garrison Command Sergeant Major Brian S. Cullen and the premier of an inspirational video about the importance of volunteering to care for and honor veterans. The event is sponsored by TowerCares Foundation and Bill and Rose Lovelace.

Tickets are required to attend and can be obtained online at www.hospicechesapeake.org/2019-whvvd. They are free for Vietnam Veterans and one guest. All others may attend for $30 per person.

Headquartered in Pasadena, Maryland, the nonprofit is a Commemorative Partner in the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration as well as a Level 5 Partner in the We Honor Veterans program, a national hospice initiative honoring the men and women from all branches of the military who have served our country.

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