Hundreds of thousands of veterans call Scottsdale and other Arizona communities home – but many do so with little attention or fanfare. Veterans AZ is a new video and podcast series that shares their stories and focuses attention on the many organizations and programs that serve veterans in the Valley.
The first episode of Veterans AZ was launched on a very special day: March 29, which is National Vietnam War Veterans Day, established in 2012 as the one day each year that we specifically honor and thank veterans who served in the longest conflict in U.S. history. Vietnam veterans comprise the largest living group of veterans in the nation, men and women who sacrificed and served with honor, but rarely received a “welcome home.”
This episode of Veterans AZ features a conversation with Mike Burns, a Scottsdale resident who, in 1965, was in charge of 200 young Marines in the unfamiliar territory of South Vietnam. Also featured is Tom Kirk, Unites States Air Force, a resident of Anthem, who flew 67 combat missions over Vietnam until the fateful day when he was shot down, beginning more than five years as a prisoner of war in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. A vignette is included that tells the story of Jay Vargas, from Winslow, who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions above and beyond the call of duty leading his Marine regiment in Vietnam.
Veterans AZ is produced as part of the Scottsdale Veterans Advisory Commission’s efforts to increase communication and awareness about veterans, their accomplishments, and the services and organizations supporting those who have worn the uniform of the United States armed forces. This program is produced by the City of Scottsdale, but features veterans’ news and information from across the Valley of the Sun and Arizona.
Local governments are encouraged to contact the City of Scottsdale about carrying Veterans AZ on Arizona government channels. Find video episodes at VeteransAZ.org, and listen in your favorite podcast app.