Jan Scruggs Announces Retirement

Jan Scruggs near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial May 2, 2012. Photo Credit/Matt McClain for The Washington Post. Scruggs led the movement to build the national memorial honoring U.S. servicemembers who served and died in the Vietnam War.

Jan C. Scruggs, the Vietnam veteran who led the movement to build The Wall and established the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), has announced his retirement. On June 30, 2015, Scruggs will step down as president of VVMF. Day-to-day operations of VVMF have been turned over to Jim Knotts, CEO since October 2014.

Scruggs was 19 years old when he served as an infantryman in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970. When he returned home after the war, he made it his mission to see that Vietnam veterans received the honor and recognition they deserved and he came up with the idea of building a national memorial that listed all of the names of those service members who didn’t return.

Starting with $2,800 of his own money, Scruggs fought tirelessly to raise support and get legislation passed until the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on the National Mall on Veterans Day 1982.

“The Wall has been instrumental in healing not only a generation, but a nation. You can’t really quantify the impact on thousands upon thousands of lives that The Wall has had – and it all goes back to Jan. VVMF will continue his work, ensuring that all who have served and sacrificed are properly honored and making sure the legacies of the service members on The Wall are never forgotten,” said Knotts.

Scruggs will remain active with the organization as president emeritus and continue his mission to have the Education Center at The Wall built. The Education Center will educate future generations about the impact of the Vietnam War and honor America’s Legacy of Service, including those serving in our nation’s Armed Forces today. Funds are being raised now to construct the Education Center. Click here to find out how you can help.

You can say thank you to Jan or send your well-wishes here.