Vietnam Veterans Day is March 29th. A day to remember those who served during the Vietnam era from 1955 – 1975. It was first celebrated under proclamation by President Nixon as a way to honor returning veterans in 1974. On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017. This act officially recognizes March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. The Act also includes the day among those days on which the US flag should especially be displayed.
Sobering Statistics Concerning Vietnam Vets
As of April 2016 (SOURCE: https://www.usna63.org/tradition/history/SoberingVietnamVets.pdf)
In case you haven’t been paying attention these past few decades after you returned from Vietnam, the clock has been ticking. The following are some statistics that are at once depressing yet in a larger sense should give you a huge sense of pride.
“Of the 2,709,918 Americans who served in Vietnam, Less than 850,000 are estimated to be alive today, with the youngest American Vietnam veteran’s age approximated to be 60 years old.”
So, if you’re alive and reading this, how does it feel to be among the last 1/3rd of all the U.S. Vets who served in Vietnam?
I don’t know about you guys, but it kinda gives me the chills,
Considering this is the kind of information I’m used to reading about WWII and Korean War vets.
So the last 14 years we are dying too fast, only the few will survive by 2025. If true, 390 VN vets die a day. so in 2190 days…from today, lucky to be a Vietnam veteran alive… in only 6-10 years..
*STATISTICS FOR INDIVIDUALS IN UNIFORM AND IN COUNTRY VIETNAM VETERANS: *
9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the
Vietnam Era (August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975).
8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war (Aug 5, 1964- March 28, 1973).
2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam, this number represents 9.7% of their generation.
7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam.
Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1968).
Agent Orange is taking a huge toll on Vietnam Veterans with most deaths somehow related to Agent Orange exposure. No one officially dies of Agent Orange, they die from the exposure which causes ischemic Heart Disease and failure, Lung Cancer, Kidney failure or COPD related disorders.
Hostile deaths: 47,378
Non-hostile deaths: 10,800
Total: 58,202 (Includes men formerly classified as MIA and
Mayaguez casualties). Men who have subsequently died of wounds account for the changing total.
8 nurses died — 1 was KIA.
61% of the men killed were 21 or younger.
11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old.
Of those killed, 17,539 were married.
Average age of men killed: 23.1 years
Total Deaths: 23.11 years
Enlisted: 50,274; 22.37 years
Officers: 6,598; 28.43 years
Warrants: 1,276; 24.73 years
E1: 525; 20.34 years
Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.
The oldest man killed was 62 years old.
Highest state death rate: West Virginia – 84.1% (national average 58.9% for every 100,000 males in 1970).
Wounded: 303,704 — 153,329 hospitalized + 150,375 injured
requiring no hospital care.
Severely disabled: 75,000, — 23,214: 100% disabled;
Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher than in WWII and 70% higher than Korea.
Missing in Action: 2,338
POWs: 766 (114 died in captivity)
As of January 15, 2004, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for, from the Vietnam War.
DRAFTEES VS. VOLUNTEERS:
25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees. (66% of U.S. armed forces members were drafted during WWII).
Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam.
Total draftees (1965 – 73): 1,728,344.
Actually served in Vietnam: 38% Marine Corps Draft: 42,633.
Last man drafted: June 30, 1973.
RACE AND ETHNIC BACKGROUND:
88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian; 10.6% (275,000) were black; 1% belonged to other races.
86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian (includes Hispanics); 12.5% (7,241) were black; 1.2% belonged to other races.
170,000 Hispanics served in Vietnam; 3,070 (5.2% of total) died there. 70% of enlisted men killed were of European descent.
86.8% of the men who were killed as a result of hostile action were Caucasian; 12.1% (5,711) were black; 1.1% belonged to other races. 14.6% (1,530) of non-combat deaths were among blacks.
34% of blacks who enlisted volunteered for the combat arms.
Overall, blacks suffered 12.5% of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when the percentage of blacks of military age was 13.5% of the total population.
Religion of Dead: Protestant — 64.4%; Catholic — 28.9%; other/none – – 6.7%
Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups.
Vietnam veterans’ personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent.
76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle/working class backgrounds.
Three-fourths had family incomes above the poverty level; 50% were from middle income backgrounds.
Some 23% of Vietnam vets had fathers with professional, managerial or technical occupations.
79% of the men who served in Vietnam had a high school education or better when they entered the military service.
63% of Korean War vets and only 45% of WWII vets had completed high school upon separation.
Deaths by region per 100,000 of population: South — 31%, West — 29.9%; Midwest — 28.4%; Northeast — 23.5%.
DRUG USAGE & CRIME:
There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group.
(Source: Veterans Administration Study)
Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison – only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes.
85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life.
WINNING & LOSING:
82% of veterans who saw heavy combat strongly believe the war was lost because of lack of political will.
Nearly 75% of the public agrees it was a failure of political will, not of arms.
97% of Vietnam-era veterans were honorably discharged.
91% of actual Vietnam War veterans and 90% of those who saw heavy combat are proud to have served their country.
74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome.
87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in high esteem.
INTERESTING CENSUS STATISTICS:
1,713,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive as of
August, 1995 (census figures).
As of the current Census taken during August, 2000, the surviving U.S. Vietnam Veteran population estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe, losing nearly 711,000 between ’95 and ’00. That’s 390 per day.
Isolated atrocities committed by American Soldiers produced torrents of outrage from anti-war critics and the news media while Communist atrocities were so common that they received hardly any media mention at all. The United States sought to minimize and prevent attacks on civilians while North Vietnam made attacks on civilians a centerpiece of its strategy. Americans who deliberately killed civilians
received prison sentences while Communists who did so received commendations.
From 1957 to 1973, the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725 Vietnamese and abducted another 58,499. The death squads focused on leaders at the village level and on anyone who improved the lives of the peasants such as medical personnel, social workers, and school teachers.