Hospice of the Chesapeake is excited to announce that Baltimore Ravens Head Coach, John Harbaugh, will speak at its 3rd annual Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration. The event will be held March 30th from 4 to 8 p.m. at Martin’s Crosswinds, 7400 Greenway Center Drive in Greenbelt, Maryland.
The nonprofit asked Harbaugh to speak on behalf of a grateful community because he is well-known for his commitment to the U.S. Military. The NFL awarded him its 2013 Salute to Service Award, acknowledging exceptional efforts by those in the league who honor and support military members. In 2012, he received the Outstanding Civilian Service Award, the Army’s third-highest public service honorary award. Along with taking part in the annual NFL-USO coaches’ tour and visiting and donating to numerous military bases here and abroad, he also helped institute Military Appreciation Day, an annual event that takes place during Ravens training camp. Since its establishment in 2008, around 8,000 service members have enjoyed preferred seating and opportunities to meet with the Ravens team.
Harbaugh’s devotion to the men and women who serve our nation in the U.S. Armed Forces serves well the program’s theme of “Warriors Remembered” that is dedicated to honoring Vietnam Veterans by welcoming home those who are still with us and enriching the legacy of those who have passed away.
All of the speakers for the event were as carefully selected to honor Vietnam Veterans and to inspire the community to do the same. Among them are retired Army Maj. Gen. James T. Jackson, Director of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, who will speak on behalf of a grateful nation; retired Marine Corps Gen. Walter E. Boomer, a Vietnam War Veteran twice awarded the Silver Star Medal, who will reflect on the strength of Vietnam Veterans, and Army Sgt. Major Rodwell L. Forbes, Fort George G. Meade’s former Garrison Command Sergeant Major, who will welcome home the veterans on behalf of a grateful military. A portion of Forbes’ speech at last year’s event was posted on the Anne Arundel County government’s Facebook page and went viral, garnering over a million hits.
Serving as the master of ceremonies will be retired Army Col. Bert Rice, a Vietnam War Veteran and former Anne Arundel County Councilman. Other highlights will include patriotic music performed by the Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Gospel Choir and Honor Salutes performed by Fort Meade’s new Garrison Command Sergeant Major Brian S. Cullen.
In 2015, at the request of Hospice of the Chesapeake’s We Honor Veterans Committee, legislation to make March 30 Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day in Maryland was introduced by state Sen. John Astle and was the first bill signed into law by Gov. Larry Hogan. After having to turn people away at last year’s event due to overwhelming response, Martin’s Crosswinds was selected as it not only is more accessible to the patients and families the nonprofit serves in both Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties, but capable of holding a crowd that is in excess of 1,200. It is their hope that they can accommodate every Vietnam Veteran who wants to attend and receive the thank you and warm welcome they should have received five decades ago.
Tickets are required to attend and can be obtained online. They are free for Vietnam Veterans and one guest, as well as for two family members of deceased Vietnam Veterans. Tickets for additional guests and community members are $30, plus fees.
Headquartered in Pasadena, Maryland, the nonprofit is a Commemorative Partner in the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration as well as a 4-Star Partner in the We Honor Veterans program, a national hospice initiative honoring the men and women from all branches of the military who have served our country.