Chapter 20’s Gatto Speaks at Veterans Day Event
Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 20 President Valentino Gatto led a Veterans Day ceremony held Nov. 11 at the Vietnam Memorial in Rochester, N.Y.
“The real meaning of Veterans Day lies right here in this memorial,” Gatto said. “The real significance of today is the profound recognition of the sacrifice made by men and women of the armed forces in service to this great nation.”
Also in attendance was Rick LaDonna, who served as an electronics technician with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. Having enlisted at age 17 in 1965 and learned valuable career skills during his service, he expressed concern for today’s troops.
“Today, [armed forces serve] four, five, six deployments into combat areas,” LaDonna told the Rochester News-Democrat. “It’s killing these guys and their families. Even though they’re well-trained and do very well, when they come home, the suicide rate is awful.”
Gatto encouraged spectators to thank veterans, who have “served, sacrificed, supported and sustained a different life from the rest of us all for the preservation of our country and our freedom,” he said. “We must forever remember these honorable veterans, understand their sacrifice and be thankful to them.”