Some 200 former Vietnam War POWs and their families, along with distinguished guests, came together last week at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, Calif., to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the White House dinner on May 24, 1973, that celebrated the POWs’ homecoming. “We have been blessed by your service, your dedication, your heroism,” Dick Newton, AFA’s executive vice president, told the former POWs during his address as part of the official program on the eve of the anniversary. “We will remain a grateful nation. We will remain a better nation because of your service, because of your commitment to return home with honor,” he added. The commemorative banquet on May 24 included remarks by President Nixon’s daughter Tricia Nixon Cox and business leader and POW advocate Ross Perot. It also featured a special performance from the choir of former POWs that performed at the original White House dinner. On May 25, several of the former POWs participated in a panel discussion. (See videos of May 23 official program, May 24 banquet, and May 25 POW panel discussion.) (See also CBS News report and NBC News report.)
Adm. Christopher Grady, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs and head of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, is pushing a “portfolio” approach to requirements and wants his position to have “more teeth” so he can enforce it.