Officials in Georgia are trying to honor all of the state's Vietnam veterans.
It's part of a program that was started two years ago through Governor Nathan Deal's office and the Georgia Department of Veterans Service. Saturday's ceremony in Trenton makes the program one step closer to its goal.
"Today, we say a loud thank you to you and your Vietnam brothers. To each of you here today, welcome home," Commissioner Mike Roby of the Georgia Department of Veterans Service.
It was a message to show appreciation and gratitude for their service. More than 100 North Georgia Vietnam veterans were recognized at a ceremony at First Baptist Church of Trenton.
"Every one of us were willing. We took a vow that if we had to we would give our life and many did not. There were 50,000 who were killed in Vietnam and did not come home," Chaplain Gary Bell of American Legion District 7.
To thank veterans like Chaplain Gary Bell for their personal sacrifices, the state created the Vietnam War Certificate of Honor program.
The hope is to honor more than 200,000 Vietnam veterans who live in Georgia. Bell previously received a certificate and explains why this is important.
"Feel like it was long overdue honor from our country because we were not honored when we came back and now I believe the people realized what a mistake they made and they're trying to make it right," Bell said.
That's why Bell is trying to help. He had a hand in putting together the Certificate of Honor and Lapel Pin Ceremony.
"We're doing what we can to reach all of these men and women. Find them all out there where they are and give them their certificate, give them their honor they're due," Bell said.
Veterans who were honorably discharged are eligible for the certificate. It includes their name, rank, branch of service, and the dates they served.
HOW TO APPLY
Group (VSO) Application Procedure
Members of veterans service organizations are encouraged to apply to receive their certificates together. For information on making a group application, email email@example.com or call 404-463-3080.
Individual Application Procedure
To apply, please send your name, rank, branch of service, dates of service, and a copy of your DD Form 214 to firstname.lastname@example.org or Georgia Department of Veterans Service, Attn: Certificates, 2 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive SE, Atlanta, GA 30334, or call 404-463-3080 for more information.
The State of Georgia would like veterans honored by this program to receive their certificates during a formal presentation. The Georgia Department of Veterans Service will work with VSOs and individual veterans to coordinate these presentations wherever possible.