Elevated security concerns have forced officials to postpone Saturday’s “Welcome Home” event for Vietnam veterans at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth.
The Defense Department raised the level of security restrictions at military installations from A to B on Thursday night, signifying an “increased and predictable threat of terrorism.”
That change, coupled with the potential for severe weather, led base officials to postpone the event.
“With the immeasurable time, effort and commitment that our local Vietnam War veterans and veterans support groups have donated to make this event happen, we owe it to everyone involved to get this right and not risk the safety of our veterans and their families who have already sacrificed so much,” Capt. Gil Miller, the base commander, said in a news release.
Army Col. Steve Warren said the higher security level was triggered not by a specific event but by a generally heightened threat environment, including the recent attempted attack at a contest in Garland featuring cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.
U.S. Northern Command made the change in what’s known as the Force Protection Condition as a precaution for Defense Department facilities and units, according to the news release.
B is the third level of concern, behind C, which means an imminent threat of terrorism, and D, which means a specific terrorist threat or attack.
More than 400 volunteers and dozens of support groups were expected to attend the “Welcome Home” event.
“The important piece for now is to launch this information to the thousands of local veterans who were looking to make their way to the base,” Miller said. “We will have a future day and venue for the event announced as soon as possible so that the momentum for welcoming home our Vietnam War veterans is not lost.”
Base spokesman Rusty Baker said he will meet with veterans groups to reschedule the event.
This report includes material from The Associated Press.
Lee Williams, 817-390-7840