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Vietnam War Commemoration Presents DHA Director with Commemorative Flag

Image of U.S. Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ron Place, Defense Health Agency director, receives a commemorative Vietnam War flag from Army Maj. Gen. (Retired) Peter Aylward, The United States of America Vietnam Commemoration director. (Photo: Sonia Clark, MHS Communications) . U.S. Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ron Place, Defense Health Agency director, receives a commemorative Vietnam War flag from Army Maj. Gen. (Retired) Peter Aylward, The United States of America Vietnam Commemoration director. (Photo: Sonia Clark, MHS Communications)

Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ron Place, Defense Health Agency director, was presented with a Vietnam War commemorative flag at the Pentagon to observe the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Peter Aylward, who now serves as the director of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, presented the flag to Place on April 14. The Vietnam War Commemoration is a national effort authorized by Congress to honor Vietnam veterans and their families.

"I am honored to be included in this year's Vietnam War Commemoration efforts," Place said after the ceremony. "Many aspects of military service and military medicine in particular have changed in the past 50 years, yet we continue to honor the service and sacrifice of the veterans who served during that conflict."

The brief ceremony was held at the Pentagon's Vietnam War exhibit, located along the building's A-Ring on the 3rd floor. The exhibit opened in 2016 and serves as a special place for Pentagon employees who are Vietnam veterans.

Place is one of several senior military officers selected by the commemoration office to serve as "commemorative ambassadors," said Aylward. "His unique purview as director, DHA, allows him to resonate our primary objective – thanking and honoring Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice," Aylward continued.

"We chose to present our commemorative flag to Lt. Gen. Place in the award-winning Pentagon Vietnam War exhibit as our team led the planning, design and installation of this exhibit, which helps tell the story of the Vietnam veteran," Aylward explained.

"This exhibit has become a cherished location of reflection and remembrance by Vietnam veterans serving in the Pentagon today, as well as visitors," he added.

Aylward noted that the traditional definition of a Vietnam War veteran includes those who served on active duty any time between Nov. 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975, regardless of location.

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