Vietnam Veterans ‘Welcome Home’ celebration postponed due to security concern

Vietnam veteran Jim Reischl, photographed in March across from where he and a Vietnamese girlfriend shared a small apartment decades ago in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Linda Davidson)

New elevated security concerns have led to the postponement of Saturday’s Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration ‘Welcome Home’ event for Vietnam veterans at Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base.

The Department of Defense’s U.S. Northern Command elevated the Force Protection Condition today as a precautionary measure for Department of Defense installations, facilities and units within its area of responsibility.

Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base has been directed to elevate its security posture, resulting in the postponement of the event.

The change in security posture, combined with the potential of strong to severe weather in the area, led base officials to postpone the event for a time to be determined in the future, according to a news release.

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“With the immeasurable time, effort and commitment that our local Vietnam War veterans and veterans support groups have donated to make this event happen, we owe it to everyone involved to get this right and not risk the safety of our veterans and their families who have already sacrificed so much,” says Base Commander, Capt. Gil Miller.

Speaking to the Rotary Club of Fort Worth on Friday, Miller said the event would be rescheduled. The key issue now is contacting all the attendees and vendors to let them know the event has been cancelled for Saturday, he said.

Army Col. Steve Warren says the increase was not triggered by a specific event. He says it was due to a generally heightened threat environment, which would include the recent terror threat and attempted attack surrounding a provocative cartoon contest in Texas.

The alert level was approved by Adm. Bill Gortney, head of U.S. Northern Command.

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The force protection condition level or FPCON levels in DOD parlance, range from Alpha, which applies when an increased general and unpredictable terrorist threat exists against personnel or facilities, to Delta, which applies to the immediate area where an attack has occurred or is imminent. The latest FPCON was raised from Alpha to Bravo, which applies when an increased or more predictable threat of terrorist activity exists. – 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.