March 29th Is National Vietnam War Veterans Day

Everyone knows Veterans Day is November 11. That's partly because 11/11 is an easy date to remember.

And, of course, Veterans Day has a lengthy history. It was first called Armistice Day. And it's still called that in some countries. Veterans Day was established by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919.

Not as well known yet is National Vietnam War Veterans Day. It began in 2012. That's when President Barack Obama declared March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day.

Five years later, President Donald Trump established March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. It recognizes veterans who served in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.

Longest Conflict in U.S. History

Let's take a brief look at the Vietnam War's history. Then we'll move on to the significance of this annual designation.

The war began as a civil war between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. The North was supported by communist allies. Including the Soviet Union and China.

The South was supported by anti-Communist allies. Such as the United States, Australia and South Korea.

From the early 1950s to the mid-1960s, U.S. involvement gradually grew. From a few advisers to a significant force. By July 1965, full combat units were deployed.

In 1975, the longest conflict in U.S. history officially ended. Five U.S. presidents served during this war. It involved some 500,000 U.S. military personnel.

Commemorating the Final Departure

So, why was March 29 selected as National Vietnam War Veterans Day?

Because on this date in 1973, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) was disbanded. The last U.S. combat troops departed the Republic of Vietnam.

That last unit featured special couriers. They were elements of MACV's Infantry Security Force (Special Guard).

The Vietnam Veterans Day Coalition of States Council petitioned the Trump Administration to make this declaration. The official name of the Act is The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017.

The commemoration honors all veterans who served in active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces from November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975.

5 War Commemoration Goals

Congress outlined five objectives for the war commemoration:

  • Honoring and thanking Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the nation.
  • Highlighting the service of our armed forces. And supporting related organizations during the war.
  • Paying tribute to wartime contributions at home by American citizens.
  • Highlighting technology, science and medical advances made during the war.
  • Recognizing former prisoners of war. And families of those still listed as missing in action.

Service and Sacrifice

There are approximately 6 million U.S. Vietnam veterans living in America and abroad. As well as some 9 million families of those who served during this timeframe. That's according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

There is no distinction made between veterans who served in-country or in-theater. Or who were stationed elsewhere during the Vietnam War period.

Among those being honored on this day are 58,000 special people. Their names are memorialized on a black granite wall in our nation's capital.

Plus 304,000 who were wounded. And 1,253 declared missing in action. As well as 2,500 prisoners of war.

8 Ways to Observe the Day

I know many of you reading this served during the Vietnam War. Or in other military conflicts.

Six other military-centric annual observances have been codified. They are Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day. Plus National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, Navy Day and Veterans Day.

We at 4Patriots sincerely thank all of you for your heroic service on behalf of our country.

Here are a few ways all of us can observe National Vietnam War Veterans Day.

  • Thank a Vietnam veteran.
  • Buy a Vietnam veteran lunch or a beverage.
  • Visit a local memorial.
  • Volunteer to help organize and conduct a related event.
  • Support a veterans organization in your community.
  • Watch a Vietnam War documentary. Such as The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Or Last Days in Vietnam, a documentary directed by Rory Kennedy. Or Vietnam Nurses, a documentary directed by Polly Watkins.
  • Read a book about the Vietnam War. Such as Vietnam: A History, by Stanley Karnow. Or They Marched Into Sunlight: War and Peace, Vietnam and America by David Maraniss. Or The Quiet American by Graham Green.
  • Fly a flag from your home

Virtual Events and Activities

The pandemic will limit many in-person observances of National Vietnam War Veterans Day. But there will be plenty of virtual events and activities.

Vietnam veterans can download a virtual frame and place a photo in it on Facebook. Including the wording, "Proud Vietnam War Veteran."

Those who did not serve in Vietnam can also download a Facebook frame for their photo. Along with the wording, "I support Vietnam War Veterans."

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is hosting an online commemoration with a live webcast on Facebook.

Vietnam veterans can share their service photos on Facebook. To help the nation remember them for their sacrifice.

Even if we do nothing else on March 29th, we should do this. Take a few minutes of silence and reflect on the sacrifice made by Vietnam veterans. They deserve nothing less.

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Comments

Yvette Arby - March 30, 2021

Thank you to all of you Vietnam Veterans who have served for our country and to preserve freedom and Democracy! And thank you to 4Patriots for educating us on this topic! I was a kid during this time, and my parents sheltered my siblings and me from news of the Vietnam War and all of the related things that happened during that time.

bruce devany - March 29, 2021

I was 20 yrs old on March 8th, 1965 when as a Marine combat engineer a part of my Battalion 3rd Bat 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, 4-500 of us went down the nets from troop carrier onto landing craft at around 0100 hours to go into Red Beach, Danang South Vietnam. We were the first Expeditionary Force to enter the Country, and at around 0230 when we touched our feet on Red Beach the official ground war started. The South Vietnam Government didn’t want us to go in until 0900 hours, but our Generals said no way, and a small number of us went in the early hours on March 8th under sniper fire. We went in early to put some defensive positions in for Marines coming in at 0900 hours. Semper Fidelis

John Veit - March 29, 2021

As a Vietnam veterans I humbly thank you. God Bless you!

Stephen Hiller - March 29, 2021

I served a full term and 2 extensions as a Marine in Nam. Was ready to start my 3rd when “they told me go home”. It was 40 years after before I heard my 2nd “Thank You for your service” and that was from a V.A. shrink. I do today respond courteously when somebody says it, but inside I want to scream. I sincerely appreciate the thought, and I try real hard not to let show what it does to my insides. I know before someone responds with “get over it” that such a remark is easier said than done. Jesus has saved my soul, but my head still hurts.

Moose - March 29, 2021

I would have thought that the history of the VN war would have been re-written by the latest administration by now. They have had 69 days. I and other vets and family members of those who gave everything would not have given so much if the current admin had arisen 55 years or so ago. Of course I probably would not been able to type this in the English language.

David Wilburn - March 29, 2021

First let me thank 4Patriots for showing their appreciation for we vets from Nam! For so long we suffered horrible things at the hands of people we put our lives on the line for! Also, some of us didn’t speak of our serving for fear of those things also! Since the culture finally acknowledged us, we have become the biggest cheerleaders for soldiers in the wars following ours! Sadly it is because we don’t want others to feel as we felt when serving and moving back to civilian life! Especially, also, is the fact that it is now an all volunteer Service! Thanks again for the honor you bestow on us! Proud Army Veteran!

Sherry Goodyear - March 29, 2021

Thanks to those who served in country. I was in the Women’s Army Corps during the war but was stationed in Germany.

Cortez Fowler - March 29, 2021

Thanks for the recognition and information—- I went to Vietnam in January 1968.
Wounded in July 1969
The following was printed in the Purple Heart magazine
The deadliest year
of the Vietnam War was 1968.
The deadliest day –- shown graphically on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial –-
was Jan. 31, when 246 U.S. personnel were killed.
The deadliest week
of the Vietnam War for the USA was during the Tet Offensive specifically February 11–17, 1968,
during which period:
543 Americans were killed in action, and
2547 were wounded.

Rod Weiss - March 29, 2021

Thank you for honoring us Viet Nam Vets. I want to take this opportunity to remember a friend who was killed in an ambush in 1966, TSgt Bruce Mansfield. I served with 25th Inf Div. in Cu Chi in 1966. God bless all veterans, and God bless America.

Eli Smarr - March 29, 2021

My husband is a Vietnam Vet who has never been able to use the Veterans Services for his medical and everytime I think of that, I get angry.
But I am really proud of all my family members who served in it, many cousins. Also have Unces who served in both WWI and WWII. Many who served in Korea too. I’m so proud of all of them, but have always felt the Vietnam ones really got a bad deal on how people treated them when they came home, so very sad. Glad now that people honor them, they deserve it!!

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