National Vietnam War Veterans Day – March 29th
This notable day commemorating the dynamic men and women who bravely answered the call to serve the United States during the Vietnam War is paramount.
From June of 1954, when the United Stated initially began its participation in the Vietnam war, to its end in 1973; approximately 2,700,000 American men and women served in Vietnam, with well over 500,000 U.S military personnel stationed at a time and over 58,000 losing their lives in battle.
While war raged across the North Pacific, the United States raged in political turmoil. With citizens across the country protesting the ongoing war and the Civil Rights Movement at its peak, returning Veterans were not exactly a priority. Although many returned to the loving arms of their families and were able to build successful lives, countless others were not received with such a warm welcome. Instead of being deemed hero’s, many were discarded and found it hard to readjust to the place they once called home.
Returning servicemen suffered from severe emotional trauma; drug dependencies that were started in Vietnam due to opium and heroin’s easy access and low cost; and a massive number of survivors with serious, crippling injuries. Most who served were young, coming from working-class families and did not have access to private health care. Instead, they had to depend on the U.S. government to provide them with treatment and rehabilitation, which were often times deplorable.
By the 80’s Americans began to change their tune towards Vietnam Veterans. They began to see that even if the war was something they did not agree with, most of the young men and women who fought were just ordinary people doing their jobs. Many people started to feel sympathy and gratitude toward Veterans. Soldiers who had served in Vietnam finally began receiving recognition across the nation.
The Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that today there are more than 6 million U.S. Vietnam Veterans living in and outside of the United States. In 2017, Senator Pat Toomey and Joe Donnelly, introduced a legislation to honor Vietnam Veterans with an ordained day. They chose the anniversary of the withdrawal of military units from South Vietnam – March 29, 1973. The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 was the signed by President Donald Trump, designating March 29th as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
In admiration and celebration of National Vietnam War Veterans Day, organizations across the country typically host a variety of events, including memorials, speeches, and luncheons honoring Vietnam Veterans and their families.
Ways you can celebrate:
- Thank a Vietnam Veteran.
- Buy them a drink, lunch or take them to dinner.
- Visit a local memorial.
- Support a veteran’s organization in your community.
- Volunteer and offer your skills.
- Watch a Vietnam War documentary
- Read about the Vietnam War.
- Send them a shout-out using #VietnamWarVeteransDay on social media.
Click Here to view the Vietnam War Veterans Day in Florida bill, signed by Governor Ron DeSantis.