Thousands expected at event honoring Vietnam veterans Saturday at speedway
CHARLOTTE (AP) — Organizers hope thousands of veterans and their families will attend an event honoring Vietnam Veterans at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord.
The Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration is being hosted Saturday by the USO of North Carolina and features live entertainment.
Spokeswoman Debby Robinson says organizers have handed out 60,000 free tickets. She says veterans can still get tickets the day of the event.
Robinson says veteran service organizations will be there to provide assistance to veterans looking for help on a wide range of issues.
Millions of U.S. troops — including 216,000 from North Carolina — served in the Vietnam War. More than 58,000 U.S. soldiers were killed in Vietnam, including 1,600 from North Carolina.
When they returned, soldiers were not honored like the troops in other wars.
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Television stations across North Carolina will carry live coverage of part of the celebration.
The USO of North Carolina and the N.C. Association of Broadcasters are joining the speedway in hosting the event, which organizers say will be one of the largest recognitions for Vietnam veterans in history. As part of the event, the broadcasters association will air a one-hour special at 3 p.m. live from the celebration stations throughout the state.
The show will include interviews with celebrities and entertainers, military dignitaries, Medal of Honor recipients, tours of the displays including the Moving Vietnam Wall and the Vietnam helicopter exhibit, and more.
Locally available stations participating include WBTV, WJZY and WCNC in Charlotte; WXII in Winston-Salem; and UNC-TV, the Public Broadcasting Service channel available statewide.
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