BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today thanked Vietnam veterans for their service and sacrifice, signing a proclamation declaring March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day.
More than 2.7 million Americans served in Vietnam, among them more than 15,000 North Dakotans. More than 58,000 died, including 198 North Dakotans.
“Today we pay tribute to all of our surviving and departed Vietnam veterans, including the 198 North Dakotans who made the ultimate sacrifice and those veterans who went missing in action or became prisoners of war,” Burgum said. “They left their homes to serve their country with extraordinary courage and honor. Today, and every day, we share our unending gratitude for their incredible service and sacrifice in the name of freedom.”
This year marks the 11th anniversary of Vietnam Veterans Day being celebrated as an official North Dakota state holiday. The 61st Legislative Assembly passed legislation in 2009 in honor and remembrance of all Vietnam veterans.
Burgum also signed a proclamation declaring March 2020 as Women Veterans’ Month in North Dakota, noting the state’s population of military veterans includes more than 5,000 women.
Burgum has worked with the Legislature to make North Dakota a more military-friendly state for Vietnam veterans and other veterans and servicemembers through several actions, including exempting military retirement pay from state income tax; providing occupational license reciprocity for trailing spouses of military personnel; providing funds to defray the cost of burying the spouses and dependents of military veterans at the state Veterans Cemetery; and permanently displaying the POW-MIA flag in front of the state Capitol. The governor also established a Task Force for Veterans Affairs to assess the current system for supporting military veterans and ensure current resources are best positioned to support them.