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Vietnam Veterans Recognition Ceremony to be held Tuesday, May 7

This news story was published on April 14, 2019.
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DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs will host the 11th Annual Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Dan Gannon, Chair of the Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs, will officiate.  Governor Kim Reynolds and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg will give remarks followed by Keynote Speaker Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation and former career US Foreign Service Officer.

The point of contact for the ceremony is Dan Gannon, Chair – Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs; 515-991-5257, or Steve Lukan, Executive Director, of the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, 515-727-3444,

Tuesday, May 7th

11th Annual Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

Iowa State Capitol

Des Moines, IA

11:00 a.m.

Additional information can be found below:

A keynote address will be delivered by Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation.  Ambassador Quinn is highly decorated for exemplary service in South Vietnam and Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

This year’s 50th Commemorative Ceremony will honor all those who have served in the Vietnam War Era, and especially those “spouses and families”, that have lost loved ones whether during their service in Vietnam, or later who have died as result of their service, which has been defined as the “hidden casualties of Vietnam”. The majority of those casualties are not eligible for inscription upon the Wall: these casualties are honored by a Memory Plaque, dedicated on the Iowa Vietnam Wall grounds.

Ambassador Quinn received the U.S. Army Air Medal, flying over 100 hours of helicopter combat operations while serving as a District Senior Advisor in the Mekong Delta. He remains the only civilian ever to win this honor.

During his tour in Vietnam, he came under fire on several occasions and was injured in a North Vietnamese rocket attack.  He received the State Department Medal for Heroism and Valor for five separate life-saving actions including saving a drowning U.S. Air Force sergeant.

After the war he was extremely instrumental in the release of American POW/MIA’s and personally negotiated the first-ever access to search for POW/MIA’s in North Vietnamese prisons.

Later in his career he worked closely with Governor Robert D. Ray and the Federal Government to open Iowa’s borders to the Vietnamese, Laotion, and Cambodian refugees.

He served as Ambassador to Cambodia from 1996 to 1999.

After a 32 year career in the U.S. State Department Amb. Quinn retired and returned to Iowa to assume the role as President of the World Food Prize Foundation.

For the past 20 years Amb. Quinn has dedicated his life to the Foundation’s purpose of inspiring and recognizing contributions to human development through increasing the quality, quantity and availability of food in the world.

Disabled American Veterans (DAV), will host a free luncheon following the ceremony at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (Veterans Memorial Auditorium), located at 833 5th Ave., Des Moines, Iowa 50309. All are welcome to attend.

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One Response to Vietnam Veterans Recognition Ceremony to be held Tuesday, May 7

  1. Allen Reply Report comment

    April 14, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    Thank You!