|John Piltzecker, left, of the National Park Service and Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund President Jan Scruggs, right, present IAM President Tom Buffenbarger with a ceremonial shovel to commemorate the Machinists union’s help to maintain the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.|
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) this week paid special tribute to the IAM at a ceremony held on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
VVMF Founder and President Jan Scruggs thanked the IAM for a $50,000 donation towards the upkeep of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the 246-foot wall inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 who perished in the conflict and dedicated to all who served with the U.S. armed forces in the Vietnam War.
“For the past five years, the IAM and The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund have enjoyed a partnership formed around our mutual respect for the men and women who serve in America’s armed forces,” said International President Tom Buffenbarger. “We are proud of our many members who have served not only in Vietnam, but in conflicts from World War I and World War II, to Korea, the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan. We thank them for their courage, strength and dedication.”
The VVMF embarked on a fundraising program last fall to raise money to help cover repairs for the privately-funded memorial after some maintenance projects were put off because of shrinking budgets and other growing needs. The funds provided by the IAM will be used for the maintenance and care of 13.5 acres that make up the memorial site.
Buffenbarger, who was joined at the ceremony by members of the Executive Council and IAM veterans, also thanked “the thousands of Machinists who support our nation’s military in a different way – with their hands.
“Everyday thousands of Machinists are hard at work building the tools and machinery needed to keep our nation strong and our families safe,” said Buffenbarger.
View the Machinists Pay Tribute to Vietnam Veterans video here.