National Vietnam War Veterans Day is March 29. President Donald Trump made March 29 an official day of commemoration for Vietnam vets by signing the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act in 2017. This day memorializes the contributions that servicemembers made during this difficult conflict.
The History of the Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a conflict between communist North Vietnam against United States ally South Vietnam during the Cold War with Russia. According to History.com, over three million people were killed during the Vietnam War, which included over 58,000 Americans.
This war was especially harmful to the American servicemembers who were drawn into the combat. Also, Vietnam was highly divisive in regard to Americans agreeing on what the level of U.S. involvement should be in the war. There were many protests against the Vietnam War, which added to the stress and trauma American troops faced.
According to History.com, American soldiers experienced increased physical and psychological problems that sparked drug use and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The U.S. government also improved a draft that required eligible servicemembers to join the conflict, and significant losses in the battlefield contributed to the problems American troops suffered. Some Vietnam veterans today still continue to struggle with PTSD and other related challenges associated with being in the Vietnam War.
Americans who fought in Vietnam entered a bloody conflict with a high risk of being injured or killed. Their bravery and acts of dedication to their country should be recognized, and Vietnam War veterans should be honored for their service.
[Related article: The Vietnam War’s First Black Medal of Honor Recipient]
Why March 29 Was Chosen as the Date to Remember
March 29 is a particularly significant day to honor Vietnam veterans. On March 29, 1973, the United States Military Assistance Command in Vietnam was decommissioned, and it was also the day that the last U.S. combat soldiers departed Vietnam.
National Vietnam War Veterans Day honors all of the U.S. veterans who served on active duty in the military from November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, regardless of where they served. Honoring their sacrifices is crucial, and there are approximately six million living Vietnam War veterans still alive and living in the U.S. and other countries, according to Fox News.
How to Celebrate National Vietnam War Veterans Day
To celebrate National Vietnam War Veterans Day, several commemorations and celebrations of service are being held by different organizations such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
Also, the Richard Nixon Foundation plans to hold an event at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum on March 29 in honor of National Vietnam War Veterans Day. A new monument memorializing Vietnam servicemembers will be commissioned, and former Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie will give a speech.
For those interested in helping to support Vietnam veterans, contact your local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and other military support organizations to see what they have planned in honor of National Vietnam War Veterans Day.