Operation Welcome Home 2011 will be held on Nov. 10-13 in Dayton Ohio and throughout the greater Miami Valley region. Activities will include a kick-off at the National Museum of the United States Air Force with the Air Force Band of Flight, several powerful “Welcome Home” ceremonies on Veterans Day, a concert, patriotic parade through downtown Fairborn, Camp Eagle and many other activities throughout the region. The program is being sponsored by various communities and organizations. The event is presented by AAA Miami Valley and the American Veterans Institute.
This series of events is meant to honor Vietnam veterans in particular, but all veterans are welcome to attend and participate. Over 1,000 veterans are expected to participate. Most events are free, but registration is requested.
Thursday, November 10 events
Operation Welcome Home will begin with a Veteran’s Tribute at the National Museum of the United States Air Force Thursday, November 10. The free event begins at 6:00 p.m. This patriotic celebration will pay special tribute to our Vietnam-era veterans as we remember the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. It is open to veterans from all services and will feature a performance by the USAF Band of Flight Systems Go.
Also on Nov. 10 the will be the Liberty Film Festival featuring “Air Force” a 1943 war film directed by Howard Hawks starring John Garfield, John Ridgely, Harry Carey, and Gig Young as crew members on a B-17 Flying Fortress named the Mary-Ann. The Movie begins at 3:00 P.m. at the Carney Auditorium at the National Museum of the United States Air Force compliments of the Liberty Film Festival.
Friday, November 11 events
On Friday, November 11 there will be Veterans Day Services at 11:00 a.m. at the Dayton VA Medical Center Campus. Also at 11:00 a.m. there will be a Veterans Day Service at Memorial Hall, downtown Dayton. This free service, planned by Dayton District Three VFW, will include keynote speakers who will recognize and honor the service given by Vietnam-era veterans and ALL veterans. Following the ceremony free boxed lunches will be provided along with a cash bar.
From noon to 4:00 p.m. American Legion Post 526 Camp Eagle will be open in Fairborn. Veterans will find information about products and services a veteran might have interest in, such as benefits, a VA Center hosted mobile medical center, a reunion post to help search for military buddies and a variety of Operation Welcome Home memorabilia will be available. In addition there will be Veteran Services Officers offering on-site veterans benefit sign-ups
At the Dayton VA Medical Center Ohio Campus there will be a Community Covenant Signing held at 1:30 p.m. This program was initiated by the U.S. Army designed to foster and sustain effective state and community partnerships with the military to improve the quality of life for active military and their families, both at their current duty stations and as they transfer to other states. It is a formal commitment of support by state and local communities to our military and their families. The Northmont Jr. ROTC Drill Team will perform at 2:30 p.m. at the Dayton VA Medical Center Ohio Campus.
At 3 p.m. there will be American Veterans Heritage Center tours in the Putnam Library, Dayton VA Medical Center Ohio Campus. A non-profit corporation, the AVHC honors the accomplishments of veterans while preserving a priceless piece of national and local history–the Soldiers Home located at the VA Medical Center. Visitors can tour the AVHC facility and the assets of the Miami Valley Military History Museum.
The Liberty Film Festival continues at 3 p.m. with “The Great Dictator” (a 1940’s satire of Nazi Germany with Charlie Chaplin) at the Neon Theater, downtown Dayton.
An REO Speedwagon Concert will be held at 8 p.m. at the Hobart Arena, Troy. This popular American rock band, formed in 1967 recorded great hits such as “Keep On Loving You” “Take It On The Run” “Keep the Fire Burnin” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling”
Saturday, November 12 events
Operation Welcome Home Parade – 10 a.m. in Fairborn. Home to Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the city of Fairborn will host the Operation Welcome Home Parade for Vietnam-era veterans. All parade participants are invited to the American legion Post 526 for lunch.
Camp Eagle will again be open from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at American Legion Post 526, Fairborn.
Liberty Film Festival – 1:30 p.m. – “As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me”– at The Neon Theater, downtown Dayton
POW/MIA Ceremony will be held at 5:00 p.m. Location is yet to be determined. There will be a dinner provided following the ceremony.
Sunday, November 13 events
Interdenominational Worship Service will be held at 11 a.m. Worship service at a local congregation with a guest military chaplain speaker (location TBD).
The Liberty Film Festival at 1:30 p.m. will show the movie “Patton” at the Neon Theater, downtown Dayton.