A wide-reaching statewide effort to honor Wisconsin Vietnam War Veterans will culminate in a weekend of recognition and celebration of their service and sacrifice for veterans and their families.
The May 21-23, 2010 events – LZ Lambeau: Welcoming Home Wisconsin's Vietnam Veterans – will feature a special evening celebration inside Green Bay's Lambeau Field that will honor and thank Wisconsin's Vietnam Veterans, while offering a warm welcome home that many never received.
"On behalf of the State of Wisconsin, I am proud to invite Wisconsin's Vietnam Veterans, Vietnam Era Veterans and their families to an important celebration at Lambeau Field in May 2010," Gov. Jim Doyle wrote in a welcoming letter. "We owe our nation's veterans – and those who are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world today – a debt of gratitude that cannot be repaid. But what we can do is keep the promises we made to them and always honor their service and sacrifice. LZ Lambeau: Welcoming Home Wisconsin's Vietnam Veterans will serve as a fitting tribute to Wisconsin's brave men and women who sacrificed greatly in service to our country. The ceremony will honor those who were killed in action and those still missing and listed as unaccounted for from the Vietnam War."
Named for the Landing Zones that Vietnam Veterans were often deployed to and inspired by the interviews with Vietnam veterans from the forthcoming Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories documentary project, LZ Lambeau is a partnership of The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, the Wisconsin Historical Society and Wisconsin Public Television, along with an extensive group of veterans organizations statewide.
The Saturday, May 22, 2010 evening event in Lambeau Field will feature special speakers, recognition, music and premiere segments from the Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories documentary.
Other events planned for the weekend include the presence of The Moving Wall™, opportunities for veterans to reunite with their fellow service men and women, a new original exhibit featuring artifacts, photographs, and other items from the vast Vietnam War collection of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum and educational exhibits from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, a book signing of the Wisconsin Historical Society Press Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories book with co-authors Sarah A. Larsen and Jennifer M. Miller, Vietnam-era military vehicle displays, tailgating and fellowship opportunities and more. Plans also include a cross-state motorcycle ride from La Crosse to Green Bay prior to the weekend events.
Other aspects of the yearlong Wisconsin Vietnam War Storiesproject include a companion book to the documentary published by the Wisconsin Historical Society, a centralized project Web site, a traveling gallery portrait exhibit, a school curriculum and veteran listening sessions coordinated by the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.
Similar in format to the award-winning Wisconsin World War II Storiesand Wisconsin Korean War Stories, the Wisconsin Vietnam War Storiesdocumentary and book will allow Wisconsin veterans to tell their stories in their own words, sharing experiences and memories from the war and their return home.
Initial major funding for Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories and LZ Lambeau has been provided by Don and Roxanne Weber of La Crosse, Associated Bank, Wisconsin Public Service, Oneida Nation, and Ron and Colleen Weyers.
Funding for expanding the programming and educational components of LZ Lambeau and Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories continues. Individual and corporate contributions are welcome.
To learn more about the weekend, to sign up for regular updates and for information about LZ Lambeau, visit LZLambeau.org.
In planning for Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories, project partners have worked with an advisory board with representatives from many veterans' organizations. Members of that committee include the Vietnam Veterans of America-Wisconsin State Council; County Veterans Service Officers Association of Wisconsin; Disabled American Veterans, Department of Wisconsin; Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs; Being There-Reaching Out Inc. For the Wisconsin Families of our Fallen Military; Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Wisconsin; American Legion Department of Wisconsin; the Military Order of the Purple Heart; Wisconsin Gold Star Families; Thuy Smith International Outreach Inc.; Veterans of the Menominee Nation, and the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation; The Hmong Veterans of Wisconsin; AMVETS and the Patriot Guard Riders.