VBA salutes Vietnam War veterans

In his inaugural address in 1961, President John F. Kennedy asserted that the United States was prepared to pay any price and bear any burden to preserve liberty and liberty. Surely the Vietnam War veterans took on this burden. More than 58,000 of them have paid a heavy price and 153,000 others have been injured in the conflict.

Today, on National Vietnam War Veterans Day, VBA joins with the rest of the country in honoring the service and sacrifice of all veterans who served in the armed forces from 1955 to 1975.

On March 29, 1973, the last American combat troops left South Vietnam. Hanoi also liberated at this time the last contingent of the more than 600 Americans taken prisoner during the war.

The Vietnam War in numbers

The Vietnam War was a joint effort, with the military, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard all playing significant roles throughout. Overall, more than 8.7 million military personnel served in active service during the Vietnam era from 1964 to 1975. This number includes approximately 11,000 women, 340,000 African Americans, 42,000 Native Americans and 35,000 Asians. / Pacific Islanders.

While the war officially ended over 45 years ago, 1,585 military personnel are still missing as a result of the conflict. For families and friends left behind, the plight of those missing in action continues to be one of the most painful legacies of the Vietnam War. Although they are gone, they are not forgotten: The Defense POW / MIA Accounting Agency is now spearheading the government’s efforts to recover and repatriate the remains of servicemen who went missing in Vietnam and other American wars.

Tribute to our veterans

VA has served the needs of Vietnam veterans since the early days of the conflict. In 1966, Congress passed the Veterans Readjustment Benefit Act, a GI bill for Vietnamese-era veterans. This law provided veterans with educational allowances to attend college or trade schools and the option of obtaining low-interest VA-guaranteed home loans.

Today, the 6 million surviving men and women who served during the Vietnamese era constitute the largest living cohort of veterans and they have deserved the nation’s deep gratitude. Through VA, Vietnamese Veterans have access to a full range of benefits, including affordable life insurance, medical care, service-related disability compensation and pensions.

Veterans who served on active duty from November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of location, are also eligible to receive a commemorative pin.

We encourage all Vietnam Veterans and eligible beneficiaries to inquire about the benefits or file a claim at VA.gov.

Shawn D. Graham is a public affairs specialist in the Office of Strategic Engagement at VBA; Jeffrey Seiken, Ph.D., is the VBA historian.

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