Washington, D.C.—The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s 30th anniversary year culminates with four days of special events, including the Build the Center Gala, which benefits the construction of the Education Center at The Wall. The gala is also a time for VVMF to honor and recognize those who have been active in supporting the military and their families.
One of the awards being given this year is the Legacy of Service Award, which honors individuals who promote American values of freedom, justice and duty through steadfast service and tireless dedication to the men and women in the U.S. armed forces, veterans and their families.
This year’s recipient is Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, currently the Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI in August 2011. Originally from New York, O’Brien has shown commitment and dedication to the military throughout his life. As a young priest in 1965, O’Brien served as a civilian chaplain at the United States Military Academy at West Point until 1970, when he became an Army chaplain with the rank of captain. He went on to serve as chaplain at Fort Bragg, N.C. with the 82nd Division (1970-71), and in Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne Brigade and 1st Cavalry Brigade (1971-72).
Following his tour in Vietnam, O’Brien was a post chaplain at Fort Gordon, Ga. After earning a doctorate in Sacred Theology and serving in a number of leadership roles within the Catholic Church, O’Brien returned to minister to the troops as Archbishop for the Military Services from 1997 to 2007 where he spoke in support of the moral integrity of our military personnel and the importance of deploying our military responsibly. In June 2007, Pope Benedict appointed O’Brien the 15th Archbishop of Baltimore, a position he held until moving to Rome in May 2012.
About VVMF and the Education Center at The Wall
The Education Center at The Wall is a place on our National Mall where our military heroes' stories and sacrifice will never be forgotten. The Education Center at The Wall is a multi-million dollar, state-of- the-art visitor’s center and learning facility to be built on the grounds of the Vietnam Veterans and the Lincoln Memorials. Visitors will better understand the profound impact the Vietnam War had their friends and family members, their hometowns and the nation. The Education Center will feature the faces and stories of the 58,282 men and women on “The Wall,” honoring those who fell in Vietnam, those who fought and returned, as well as the friends and families of all who served.
Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., promoting healing and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War.
Support the Education Center at The Wall by visiting www.buildthecenter.org or by calling 866-990-WALL.
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