Fayetteville, NC – September 8, 2011 - “Goooooooooood Morning, Vietnam!” If you’re a Vietnam veteran, you know the name - and voice - of Adrian Cronauer. If you’re not, you’re probably familiar with the 1987 movie of the same name, which was loosely based on Cronauer’s experience as a disc jockey for Armed Forces Radio in Saigon. It’s fitting, then, that Cronauer will be the spokesperson for the first ever Heroes Homecoming, Fayetteville/Cumberland County’s 10-day celebration giving Vietnam veterans the welcome home they deserve but never received.
Cronauer has dedicated a significant portion of his life to serving his fellow veterans. He is continuing his work by making sure each and every Vietnam veteran knows about Heroes Homecoming so they can receive the long overdue ‘welcome home’ they so rightly deserve. Cronauer will also participate in select Heroes Homecoming events, which will take place in Fayetteville during the 10 days leading up to Veterans Day on November 11, 2011. There is no place in the country more closely tied to the Vietnam War and that period of our country’s history than Fayetteville: More than 200,000 troops trained at Fort Bragg before heading to Vietnam.
“Only among Vietnam veterans will you find that when they gather together, they frequently greet each other with the phrase, ‘welcome home,’” said Cronauer. “The reason they feel compelled to say that to each other is because no one else ever said it to them. We are finally changing that with events like our Heroes Homecoming.”
During the Vietnam War, Cronauer used his radio show to give comfort and hope to soldiers serving overseas from 1965 to 1966. After the war, from 2001 to 2009, Cronauer - now a lawyer - served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Pentagon’s Prisoner of War and Missing Personnel Office.
Heroes Homecoming, which is being held in partnership with the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (FACVB) and its Army’s Army, was recently designated as an official Veterans Day Regional Site for the celebration of Veterans Day 2011. The selection was made by North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense. More than 50 events recognizing the service and sacrifice of our veterans are planned for Heroes Homecoming, including speakers, special events and salutes. Highlights include the Traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial, USO of NC 70th Anniversary Gala, Fort Bragg’s rededication of its Vietnam War Memorial, and the first annual Veterans Day Ceremony at the newly dedicated North Carolina Veterans Park.
Cronauer was an Air Force Sergeant assigned to Saigon as a radio announcer during the Vietnam War. In those days, military radio and television tended to follow a series of rigid guidelines. Cronauer changed that. He pushed the envelope and developed a broadcasting style similar to U.S. radio shows. He helped soldiers feel less homesick every time his show aired. Cronauer focused on boosting morale among the American community in Vietnam. His boisterous, “Goooooooood Morning, Vietnam,” greeting lived on after Cronauer returned home, with every DJ after him using this signature sign-off.
More than 25 years after Vietnam, Cronauer was immortalized by Robin Williams in the movie, Good Morning, Vietnam, for which Cronauer co-wrote the original script. He received the prestigious Ohio State Award in 1992 and two 1992 Gold Medals from the New York Radio Festival for a special program on National Public Radio about the role of military radio in Vietnam. In 1996, he received the Hall of Heroes “American Patriot Award” for his dedication to reaching and helping veterans.
“We are honored to have Adrian Cronauer as the spokesperson of Heroes Homecoming,” said Fayetteville Mayor Tony Chavonne. “As THE voice of Vietnam, there’s no one that Vietnam vets more readily recognize and trust than him.”
Cronauer and his wife, Jeane, currently live in Troutville,Virginia, where he writes, records commercials and spends much of his time speaking to veterans’ groups. Cronauer has narrated several books and has appeared as a guest on radio and television shows including NBC’s The Today Show, ABC’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, and Fox News Channel’s Hannity & Colmes. He is a lifetime member of the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, Am Vets, the VFW and VietNow. Cronauer’s participation in Heroes Homecoming is being sponsored by the Pope Special Activities Committee.
“Heroes Homecoming is going to be a celebration unlike anything this country has ever seen,” said John Meroski, President and CEO of the FACVB. “We hope Vietnam vets from around the country will join us in Fayetteville for this once-in-a-lifetime reunion: Put your uniforms back on and come home.”
To learn more about Heroes Homecoming and to view a full list of events, please visit HeroesHomecoming.com.
If you are interested in setting up an interview with Adrian Cronauer, or to request a copy of pre-recorded Public Service Announcements, please contact Leah Knepper with Rubberneck Media at (919) 397-5355 or email@example.com . About Heroes Homecoming: As America’s First Military Sanctuary Community, Fayetteville/Cumberland County is giving brave Vietnam veterans the welcome home they deserve. The community will host Heroes Homecoming – the biggest commemoration/reunion of its kind – for the 10 days leading up to Veterans Day 2011. The event series will feature celebrations, discussions, fellowship and memories for all those who attend. Heroes Homecoming is Fayetteville/Cumberland County’s way of showing all Vietnam veterans that we remember and appreciate their courage, their sacrifice and everything they’ve done to defend our freedom – now and forever.
About the FACVB: The Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization responsible for positioning Fayetteville/Cumberland County as a destination for conventions, sporting events and individual travel. For additional information, visit www.visitfayettevillenc.com  or call 1-800-255-8217. Fayetteville/Cumberland County is America's first military sanctuary. Through the Army's Army and other volunteer groups, our citizens and businesses are dedicated to “watching over those who watch over us ©.”