The Vietnam Generation – Those That Fought
The Vietnam War is still a controversial topic today. The question of should we have been there and what the goals were will never go away. The one thing that can not be questions is that many of our country’s young people served in the war. Some volunteered and some were drafted. Some fought for a cause, some because they were told to. Below are some statistics on those who served.
The total amount of military personnel on active duty during the Vietnam Era numbered 9,087,000. (1964 to 1975)
Of them 2,709,918 served in uniform during the war.
Out of those, 240 received the Medal of Honor.
The average age of the soldier during the war was 22 (not 19 as a song would have you believe.)
58,148 American soldiers died during the war.
61% of those were under 21 years old.
Almost 20% were under 20 years old.
17,539 of those killed were married at the time.
Veterans of the Vietnam War have a lower unemployment rate then non-veterans in the same age group.
Personal income of Vietnam Veterans exceeds that of non-veterans in the age group by 18%.
Only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have served any prison time.
97% of veterans received an honorable discharged.
91% of Veterans say they are glad to have served.
74% say they would serve again, even knowing how the conflict turned out
For such a long time the Vietnam War was at the center of the American consciousness. Every conflict since them has driven it deeper and deeper in the collective memory. As we stand now with so few WWII and Korean War veterans left, that Vietnam generation are the next ones to pass into history. Some believe that the First Gulf War was partially fought to purge ourselves from the uncertainty of Vietnam. That might be, however many of the wars fought since has given us a new perspective.
Was the fight in the jungles of Southeast Asia worth it? is any war really worth it? I don’t have the answer. All I know is that those who fought, for whatever reason, need shown the respect they deserve. Maybe even a VA Hospital system that actually looks to help them instead watching them fade away? I think it’s the least of what they deserve for their service.
For more statistic on the Vietnam War, click here.