Jan Scruggs was the driving force and original idea man behind the Vietnam War natinal memorial, listing the names of all soldiers lost in that terrible time. A veteran himself, he has dedicated his life to making sure that America's soldiers are well recognized and rewarded.
After Congress took no action, Scruggs began the project himself. Using $2,800 of his own money, he launched the effort in May 1979. Despite controversy and numerous setbacks, over eight million dollars was raised, many political hurdles were overcome, and the Memorial was built and dedicated in November 1982.
As president of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), Scruggs worked with Congress to create a Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commemorative Silver Dollar. The surcharge of the silver dollar provides a permanent endowment for the out-of-ordinary maintenance and upkeep needs of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
In 1997-1998, Scruggs spearheaded the Fifteenth Anniversary Commemoration of the dedication of the Memorial. This year-long series of educational programs and initiatives was planned to enrich all Americans’ understanding of the Vietnam War, its era, and its veterans, and to commemorate the unique healing power of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The commemoration has united veterans and veterans’ groups from all across the country, and expanded upon the VVMF mission to educate Americans about the important sacrifices of our Vietnam Veterans.
He has appeared on 60 Minutes, Nightline, Good Morning America, and numerous other national and local television and radio shows, and has served as a guest host for Mutual Broadcasting’s Larry King Show. His book about the memorial, titled To Heal A Nation, was made into an NBC Movie of the Week, and aired in May 1988.
Jan Scruggs is a highly sought-after motivational speaker to business audiences and has spoken before numerous organizations, including AT&T, IBM, and the prestigious Million Dollar Roundtable. He also speaks to college audiences about the history of the Vietnam War and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.