Members of U.S. Veterans Vietnam Era, SSG Richard A. Fitts Chapter came together Sunday in their annual observance of the end of the war, remembering the six men from Abington who were killed in action, and acknowledge those who returned home with the invisible wounds of war.
The Department of Defense recognizes the official dates of U.S. involvement in Vietnam as Jan. 12, 1962 to March 29, 1973, when the last U.S. soliders withdrew. U.S. military advisors were in South Vietnam as early as 1955, and U.S. embassy personnel remained in Saigon until April 30, 1975.
More than 3 million U.S. service members are recognized as Vietnam veterans, with 58,000 Americans killed in action.
During the ceremony, Abington Veterans Services Director Adam Gunn read the names of the Abington service members who died during the war: Army Specialist First Class Dennis Adley, Air Force Major Peter Bugbee Christianson, Arm Staff Sergeant Richard Allan Fitts, Army Specialist Fourth Class Richard Francis Gliniewicz, Army Private First Class Glenn Raymond Gordon, Marine Corps Private First Class Ralph Gerald Hamlin Jr., and Army Specialist Fourth Class Ernest Hammond Laidler.
Fitts’ widow, Victoria Fitts, presented a bouquet of flowers during the ceremony, which was also attended by Abington selectmen Alex Hagerty and Michael Kolodziej, and state Sen. John Keenan.