From the NFRW Armed Services Committee
National Vietnam War Veterans Day is Monday, March 29. This day is to honor all veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time from November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975.
Congress outlined five objectives for the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, with the primary objective being to thank and honor Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the Nation, with distinct recognition of former prisoners of war and families of those still listed as missing in action.
The four remaining objectives highlight the service of our Armed Forces and support organizations during the war; pay tribute to wartime contributions at home by American citizens; highlight technology, science and medical advances made during the war; and, recognize contributions by our Allies.
U.S. involvement in Vietnam started slowly with an initial deployment of advisors in the early 1950s, grew incrementally through the early 1960s and expanded with the deployment of full combat units in July 1965. The last U.S. personnel were evacuated from Vietnam in April 1975.
Some facts about the Vietnam War:
- Nine million Americans served during that time.
- 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.
- 58,000 names are memorialized on a black granite wall in our Nation’s capital.
- 304,000 were wounded.
- 2,500 were Prisoners of War (POWs).
- 1,253 are still missing in Action (MIA) and have not yet returned to American soil.
“To ensure the sacrifices of the 9 million heroes who served during this difficult chapter of our country’s history are remembered for generations to come, I signed into law the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, designating March 29 of each year as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Throughout this Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, and every March 29 thereafter, we will honor all those who answered our Nation’s call to duty.” – President Trump
March 29 was chosen to be observed in perpetuity as March 29, 1973, was the day United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, was disestablished and also the day the last U.S. combat troops departed Vietnam. In addition, on and around this same day Hanoi released the last of its acknowledged prisoners of war. The commemoration makes no distinction between veterans who served in-county, in-theater, or were stationed elsewhere during those 20 years.