Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument Dedication Plans UnderwayNovember 26, 2013AUSTIN: The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument will be dedicated at the State Capitol in Austin on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. The dedication and "Welcome Home Fair" at the Capitol are free and open to the public. March 29th has been designated nationally and in Texas as "Vietnam Veterans Day" because on that day in 1973, the last combat troops left Vietnam.The Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument was approved by the 79th Texas legislature in 2005 through House Concurrent Resolution No. 36 to honor Texans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War, including the 3,417 who died or went missing. The State Preservation Board gave final approval to the monument design on September 20, 2013. The monument, originally designed by New Mexico artist Duke Sundt, is being completed and bronzed by Clint Howard at the Deep in the Heart Art Foundry in Bastrop.A dedication ceremony paying tribute to the service of all Texas Vietnam veterans and the sacrifice of those who gave their lives will be conducted as the monument is unveiled and presented to the people of Texas by the Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument Committee. The committee of Vietnam veterans, chaired by Mr. Robert Floyd of Austin, has been responsible for all aspects of the monument design, construction and fundraising.The dedication ceremony theme will be Once, America Sent Them to War. Now Texas Welcomes Them Home. Expected participants include Mr. Floyd, monument legislative sponsors State Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa and State Representative Wayne Smith, and other Texas elected leaders. Retired Army Lieutenant General Mick Kicklighter, who heads the United States Department of Defense 50th Commemoration of the Vietnam War program, will speak. Ms. Karoni Forrester, Vice-Chair of the National League of POW/MIA Families and daughter of Texas Marine Captain Ron Forrester, MIA, will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies. Other ceremonial participants will include Texas Vietnam veterans representing all services, the Texas Children's Choir and students from Edgewood ISD in San Antonio."We're planning a great day celebrating the military service of Texans in Vietnam," Robert Floyd said. "We hope all Texas Vietnam veterans and their families will come to Austin to spend the day being welcomed home as we dedicate their monument at the Capitol."Following the ceremony, attendees will be invited to visit the Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit in the Lower Rotunda of the Capitol. The exhibit displays replicas of the 3,417 personalized dog tags honoring Texans who died in Vietnam that will be entombed in the monument. Additional Vietnam War related historical and tribute exhibits will be displayed on the Capitol grounds in a "Welcome Home Fair" through the day.For updates and logistical information about parking, bus unloading and other details, please visithttp://buildthemonument.org/dedication.For information about special hotel rates, please visit http://buildthemonument.org/hotel-information.