The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) recently held a Vietnam Memorial Recognition Ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. to honor IAM members who served during the Vietnam era.

The ceremony started with a welcome from IAM Resident General Vice President Brian Bryant. IAM Vietnam veterans were recognized and honored during the ceremony. Two wreaths were laid at the Wall and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial.

A group of nearly 50 IAM members was present at the ceremony, including retired IAM District 70 member Danny Gutierrez, who served in the Vietnam War in the U.S. Army, Douglas Rabold, who served in the Vietnam War in the U.S. Navy and is the father-in-law of IAM member Brandon Paskus and Retired IAM Political Director Rick de la Fuente, who served in the Vietnam era in the U.S. Army.

Former U.S. military service men and women are a significant membership base of the IAM, and their union has assisted them by expanding the IAM Veteran Services Program in recent years. The endeavor has helped hundreds of Machinists deal with everything from PTSD to filing complicated claims with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

“Today and forever we honor their sacrifice and we recognize the bravery, and service,” said Bryant. “We mourn for a generation of families and communities who lost a life and a part of their future. We mourn the children than never got to meet their mothers and fathers, and we mourn the lives that were never lived, but we also make a pledge as a union and as a nation, we must honor our veteran not only in words, but in deeds.”

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a national memorial in Washington, D.C., dedicated to the men and women who served in the Vietnam War. The memorial consists of the Wall, the Three Servicemen sculpture, and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. The Wall is a black granite wall inscribed with the names of over 58,000 Americans who died or are missing in action in the Vietnam War.

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