Honor a Vet
The Los Gatos Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation is recognizing the contributions of Vietnam War-era veterans with a series of online profiles. (honoravet.com screenshot)

While in office, President Barack Obama signed a declaration that paid homage to America’s Vietnam War veterans. Vietnam War Veteran Commemoration Day takes place on March 29 and 30 throughout states in the U.S.  California has chosen to celebrate Vietnam War vets on March 30.

Though the Los Gatos Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation isn’t planning a big to-do this year (it hopes to organize something for 2025), it has been collecting the stories of Los Gatans who contributed to that mid-century American-led military effort in Southeast Asia. 

The local group has profiled nine Vietnam-era veterans and is featuring interviews, photographs and videos on its website and Facebook page. Here are two of them:

military base in Korea
Duino Franco Giordano at a base in Korea. (Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation)

Duino Franco Giordano

Years of Service during Vietnam War: 1966 to 1975

Position: Outside Wire, Antenna Maintenance Specialist 216th Engineering Installation Squadron, 162 Combat Group, California Air National Guard, Air Force

Where were you deployed: Completed communication installation and maintenance assignment throughout the United States from Alaska to Northern Air Defense Command, Colorado Springs, Colorado all the way to Ascension Island, UK.

What caused you to join the military: Provided me an education and an opportunity to serve my community and USA.

What was the transition like when you returned home? I was on active duty for only six months. No real issue. Main issue was dealing with antiwar demonstration and being deployed to demonstration for riot control as Air National Guard troop, and as a public safety officer.

Most significant memory: Being deployed to Ascension Island, UK to construct and install new tracking antennas for NSA.

What do you wish that civilians would understand about military service? What an honor it was to serve with so many dedicated individuals, from all walks of life, from all over the world who chose to defend our nation and the people who live here.

Today: Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation advisory board member.

at memorial
Peacock (center) in full dress in front of a Vietnam War memorial. (Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation)

Former Assistant Army Secretary Bill E. Peacock

Years of Service during Vietnam War: 1968-1969

Position: Captain, United States Marine Corps, Company Commander and Chief Trial Counsel, First Marine Air Wing, and 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade.

Where were you deployed: I Corps and III Corps—RVN and on board several aircraft carriers.

What caused you to join the military: With four uncles who served in the US Army in WWII (one, a Major General, two Colonels and one Captain,) I was “branded early on” and never thought about not serving. Joined the US Marine Platoon Leaders Class program as a Junior at Princeton in 1962 and went on to Harvard Law School, then attended Basic School at Quantico in 1967.

What was the transition like when you returned home? Went to work as an associate in the oldest law firm in California, Chickering & Gregory in San Francisco, stayed in the Marine Reserve, and tried, mostly (but not totally successfully) to ignore all the trouble in the surroundings.

Most significant memory: Experiencing the feelings of terrible loss at reports of so many friends being KIA or badly wounded. Our 5-67 Basic School Class had one of the highest percentages of lieutenants killed in action.

What do you wish that civilians would understand about military service? I think a great many veterans are proud of their service regardless of their personal views of what they did in uniform. Many from Vietnam were treated terribly poorly by some when they returned for which there is no excuse—I do not remember too many tomatoes or rocks being thrown at members of Congress. From the evidence, I guess it must be pretty damned easy to vote for sending somebody else’s son or daughter into combat.

Visit www.HonorAVet.org to read more stories from Vietnam War-era veterans.

Previous articleVan Nada: 4 Town officials responsible for flood of Builder’s Remedy proposals
Next articleWhat’s your favorite thing about spring?
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here