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Encyclopedia > Vietnam vet

Vietnam veteran is a phrase used to describe someone who served in the armed forces of participating countries during the Vietnam War. The term is usually associated with veterans who were in the armed forces of South Vietnam, the United States armed forces and countries allied to them, whether or not they were actually stationed in Vietnam during their service. However, those who did not actually serve in Vietnam are sometimes referred to as "Vietnam era veterans". The Vietnam War was a war fought roughly from 1957 to 1975 after the North Vietnamese government secretly agreed to begin involvement in South Vietnam. ... National motto: ??? Official language Vietnamese Capital Saigon Last President Duong Van Minh Last Prime Minister Vu Van Mau Area  - Total  - % water 173,809km² N/A Population  - Total  - Density 19,370,000 (1973 est. ... The armed forces of the United States of America consist of the United States Army United States Navy United States Air Force United States Marine Corps United States Coast Guard Note: The United States Coast Guard has both military and law enforcement functions. ...

In the English-speaking world, the term "Vietnam veteran" is not usually used in relation to members of the communist People's Army of Vietnam or the Viet Cong. Communism - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins/monobook/IE50Fixes. ... The Peoples Army of Vietnam (PAVN) is the term used by the North Vietnamese for their army, which is otherwise known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), or Army of North Vietnam. ... A Viet Cong soldier, heavily guarded, awaits interrogation following capture in the attacks on Saigon during the festive Tet holiday period of 1968. ...


South Vietnamese veterans

Although exact numbers are difficult to ascertain, it is safe to say that several million people served in the South Vietnamese armed forces — the vast majority of them in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) — between 1956 and 1975. It is known that during 1969-1971, there were about 22,000 ARVN combat deaths per year and the army reached a peak strength of about one million soldiers during 1972. The official number of anti-communist Vietnamese personnel killed in action was 220,357. A significant proportion of the surviving South Vietnamese veterans left Vietnam for western countries, at various stages following the communist victory in 1975. The Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) was a military component of the armed forces of the Republic of Vietnam (commonly known as South Vietnam). ... 1956 was a leap year starting on Sunday. ... 1975 was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1975 calendar). ... 1969 was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... 1971 is a common year starting on Friday (click for link to calendar). ... 1972 was a leap year that started on a Saturday. ... 1975 was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1975 calendar). ...

United States veterans

According to official sources, 2,594,000 US personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam between January 1, 1965 and March 28, 1973 and 8,744,000 US personnel were on active duty between August 5, 1964-March 28, 1973. More than 57,000 US personnel died while serving in Vietnam. January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... 1965 was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar). ... March 28 is the 87th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (88th in Leap years). ... 1973 was a common year starting on Monday. ... August 5 is the 217th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (218th in leap years), with 148 days remaining. ... 1964 was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... March 28 is the 87th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (88th in Leap years). ... 1973 was a common year starting on Monday. ...

Veterans from other nations

Nationals of other nations fought in the American-led coalition, sometimes as armed forces of allied nations, such as Australia and South Korea, but sometimes as members of the US armed forces.

Some foreign nationals voluntered for the US military, but many more were US permanent residents, who were subject to the draft, if they were male, of draft age, and not otherwise deferred or exempt from service.

South Korean veterans

South Koreans forces at their peak were approximately one-tenth of US forces; by extrapolation that would indicate 250,000 South Koreans served in-country.

Australian veterans

Australia was directly engaged in the Vietnam as a US ally. Approximately 50,000 Australians served in Vietnam. According to official statistics, 508 personnel died or went missing in action.

Canadian veterans

During the Vietnam era, more than 30,000 Canadians served in the US armed forces. Fred Graffen, military historian with the Canadian War Museum, estimated in Vietnam Magazine (Perspectives) that approximately 12,000 of these personnel actually served in Vietnam. The old Canadian War Museum building on Sussex Drive The new Canadian War Museum, under construction at Lebreton Flats The Canadian War Museum, located in Ottawa, Ontario is a Canadian museum that honours Canadas veterans and commemorates the wars and conflicts in which Canada has taken part. ...

The numbers of draft US conscientious objectors, "draft dodgers" and deserters that fled to Canada is estimated to be between 30,000 and 70,000 by most authorities. A conscientious objector is an individual whose personal beliefs are incompatible with military service, or sometimes with any role in the armed forces. ... Their actions were criminal offences and once they had left the country draft dodgers could not return or they would be arrested. ...

Negative stereotypes of Vietnam veterans

There are persistent stereotypes about Vietnam veterans as psychologically devastated, bitter, homeless, drug-addicted people who had a hard time readjusting to society, primarily due to the uniquely divisive nature of the Vietnam War in the context of U.S. History. Pre-Colonial America For details, see the main Pre-Colonial America article. ...

That social division has expressed itself by the lack both of public and institutional support for the former soldiers expected by returning combatants of most conflicts in most nations. In a material sense also, Veterans Benefits for Vietnam era veterans were dramatically less than those enjoyed after World War II. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a Cabinet department of the United States government responsible for administering programs of veterans benefits for veterans, their families, and survivors. ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ...

However the negative image of the Vietnam veteran has been battled in recent years, primarily by people such as B. G. Burkett. Burkett wrote a book called Stolen Valor in which he gathered statistics attempting to prove that Vietnam Veterans were actually quite prevalent among the government and business leaders of America 30 years after the Vietnam War. Furthermore he discovered a large number of people claiming to be veterans who were not. Using the Freedom of Information Act and military personnel records, he found these 'fake vets' in every walk of life. From the VA hospital, to University professors, to book authors, to interviewees in serious studies of the Vietnam War, to homeless people, to veterans magazines, etc. The Vietnam War was a war fought roughly from 1957 to 1975 after the North Vietnamese government secretly agreed to begin involvement in South Vietnam. ... Nearly sixty countries around the world have implemented some form of freedom of information legislation, which sets rules on governmental secrecy. ...

There are still, however, many proven cases of individuals who have suffered psychological damage from their time in Vietnam. Many others were physically wounded, some permanently disabled.

See also

  • Vietnam Views (http://www.vietnamviews.org/) (marking the 30th anniversary of its end, a social journal that captures stories from those affected by the war)
  • List of Vietnam War veterans



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