Vietnam vet to be honored at annual Veterans Day commemoration
Harold Redding had a dream for Vietnam veterans to receive the same recognition as other war veterans for their service to the country.
On March 28, his dream became reality when President Donald Trump signed a bill that established March 29 as National Vietnam Veterans Day.
Redding, of North Codorus Township, is one of many veterans who will be recognized at York County's Veterans Day celebration and breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 11, at the York Expo Center’s Mid Atlantic Industrial Memorial Hall West.
The York County commissioners say Redding will be at the ceremony with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who worked with him to help get the bill passed.
A 23-year veteran of the U.S. Army who served in Vietnam in 1966, Redding started fighting for a national day of recognition in 2015.
After writing letters, making calls and doing anything he could to rally support, he went before York County commissioners and state and U.S. representatives.
The commissioners passed a resolution in July 2015 that called on Congress to establish the day of recognition.
March 29 was chosen by Redding because it was the day in 1973 when the last American troops left Vietnam, he said at the time. The day had already been observed for Vietnam veterans in many states.
Redding said it was important that "the governing body that sent us to Vietnam has acknowledged us in public law," The York Dispatch reported in March.
Travis Mills: Saturday's program features keynote speaker Travis Mills, a retired U.S. Army staff sergeant of the 82nd Airborne who served in three tours in Afghanistan before he was wounded by an improvised explosive device, losing portions of both legs and both arms, according to his website.
A quadruple amputee, Mills is one of only five members of the military with such injuries from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive.
He spends his days advocating for veterans and amputees through motivational speaking, acting and writing, his website shows. His memoir, “Tough as They Come,” is on The New York Times' best-seller list.
Mills has received local and national news recognition, on programs such as Fox News’ "Happening Now with Jenna Lee" and "The O’Reilly Factor" with Bill O’Reilly, according to the website.
A York County veteran also will be honored Saturday with the 26th annual George H. Eyler award, recognizing extended distinguished service to the community, a county news release states.
Terry Gendron, director of the York County Department of Veterans Affairs, will serve as master of ceremonies for the event, which is supported by private contributions from throughout the county.
York County businesses are showing their support for veterans by offering gifts and discounts for Veterans Day.
Royer’s Flowers & Gifts, a Lebanon-based company with stores in York County, will be giving out free red, white and blue bouquets to veterans who come into stores on Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11.
Fadely's Auto Masters and Automotive of York (NAPA), will hold a special event from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, in which veterans and military personnel (with proof of ID) can stop by its location at 3177 W. Market St. in West Manchester Township for free service and food.
They will receive a certificate for free oil, lube and filter plus fall and winter check, according to a news release.
The York County Veterans Day celebration and breakfast has no cost, but attendees are asked to send donations to the York County Veterans in Need Fund at the York County Department of Veterans Affairs, 28 E. Market St., York.
If You Go:
What: York County Veterans Day celebration and breakfast
When: 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11
Where: York Expo Center’s Mid Atlantic Industrial Memorial Hall West, 334 Carlisle Ave., York
Cost: Free; Send donations to York County Veterans in Need Fund at the York County Department of Veterans Affairs, 28 East Market Street York