‘They’re all heroes’


Local veterans and community members visited the mobile exhibit of Wreaths Across America at the Oregon Coast Military Museum to see how the nonprofit honors veterans and educates people.

Mobile exhibit honors veterans, welcomes home Vietnam vets

Aug. 30, 2022 — On Aug. 27, Oregon Dunes Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution and Oregon Coast Military Museum, 2145 Kingwood St., hosted the Wreaths Across America Mobile Exhibit, which is visiting 14 stops in Oregon.

Wreaths Across America’s mission is to “remember, honor and teach” about veterans and their service to the U.S. The nonprofit brings thousands of wreaths each year to cemeteries where veterans are buried, especially Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The mobile exhibit, housed in a 48-foot-long trailer, brings local communities and military together with education, stories and interactive connections.

People attended the Florence event throughout the day, but a special ceremony at 1 p.m. honored 14 Vietnam-era veterans with a pin, challenge coin and certificates in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

“Vietnam veterans did not receive a welcome. They did not receive a thank you,” said volunteer Fred Thompson, who, along with his wife Diane, operated the exhibit. “We always challenge our crowds that we can never allow that to happen in America ever again. We cannot allow returning soldiers to face that kind of treatment. They’re all heroes — they stepped up and they went where they were sent to defend freedom.”

For more information, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.