A notable Texas Tech center will be assisting the Department of Defense commemorating a war.

The Texas Tech Vietnam Center and Archive will be the first university commemorative partner in the effort to honor Vietnam veterans, as many did not receive a hero’s welcome upon their return.

Under the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration program, the Secretary of Defense will coordinate, support, and facilitate other programs and activities of the federal government, state, and local governments in commemorations of the Vietnam War.

“We have been working with the Office of Commemorations since late 2009,” said Stephen Maxner, director of the Vietnam Center and Archive. “Given their knowledge of and the established reputation of the Vietnam Center and Archive in Washington D.C. and at the DoD, we were at the top of their list as potential partners.”

According to a press release from Tech, the commemoration will, among other things, thank and honor the veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of a grateful nation, including personnel held as Prisoners of War or listed as Missing in Action.

Col. Mark Franklin, U.S. Army (Ret.) and chief of history and education for the DoD Office of Commemorations laid out some of the work that will be done between the DoD and Tech’s Vietnam Center.

“We will be working very, very closely with the Vietnam Center to develop educational materials and the kinds of information we want to convey to the public and the school systems,” Franklin said. “We want to reach out to three audiences: the public, we want to reach the school systems public and private, grades 7 through 12, and the academic and university level.”

Commemorative events began on Memorial Day 2012, and will continue for 13 years through Veterans Day 2025, mirroring the length of America’s longest war.

More information about the Vietnam Center and Archive is available at http://www.vietnam.ttu.edu.