|IN UNIFORM VS IN COUNTRY|
• Vietnam Vets: 9.7% of their generation.
• 9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam era (Aug. 5,1964-May 7, 1975).
• 8,744,000 personnel were on active duty during the war (Aug. 5,1964March 28, 1973).
• 3,403,100 (including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the Southeast Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters).
• 2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (Jan. 1, 1965-March 28, 1973).
• Of the 2.6 million, between 1 and 1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in combat, provided close combat support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack. 15% were in combat units.
• Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964.
• 7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam.
• Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30,1969).
• Hostile deaths: 47,418
• Non-hostile deaths: 10,811.
• Total: 58,229 (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.
• Married men killed: 17,539.
• 61% of the men killed were 21 years old or younger.
• Highest state death rate: West Virginia-84.1 per 100,000 males (national average in 1970: 58.9).
• Wounded: 303,704-153,329 hospitalized + 150,375 injured who required no hospital care.
• Severely disabled: 75,000-23,214 100% disabled; 5,283 lost limbs; 1,081 sustained multiple amputations.
• Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher than in WW2 and 70% higher than in Korea. Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WW2.
• Missing in Action: 2,338 (at war's end).
• Prisoners of War: 766 (114 died in captivity).
|DRAFTEES VS VOLUNTEERS|
• 25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees. (66% of U.S. armed forces members in WW2 were drafted.)
• Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam.
• Reservists killed: 5,977.
• National Guard: 9,000 served; 22 KIA.
|RACE AND ETHNIC BACKGROUND|
• 88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian (includes Hispanics); 10.6% (275,000) were black; 1% belonged to other races.
• 86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian; 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.
• 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%.
• 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 WW2 vets had completed high school upon separation.)
|WINNING AND LOSING|
• 82% of veterans who saw heavy combat strongly believe the war was lost because of lack of political will.
• Nearly 75% of the general public agrees that it was a failure of political will, not of arms.
• The TET Offensive of 1968 was an overwhelming defeat for the VC and the NVA.
|AGE & HONORABLE SERVICE|
• Average age of the Vietnam War GI: 19 (26 for WW2).
• 97% of Vietnam-era veterans were honorably discharged.
|PRIDE IN SERVICE|
• 91% of actual Vietnam War veterans and 90% of those who saw heavy combat are proud to have served their country.
• 66% of Vietnam vets say they would serve again if called upon (polled in the 1980s).
• 87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in high esteem.
|Heli-Vets is an online forum of Helicopter Veterans of the Vietnam War|
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