Veteran of the Day graphic created by Reynaldo Leal for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is everyone who served during the Vietnam War.
American troops were deployed to Vietnam in the 1950s, but it wasn’t until the early 1960s that they saw official combat. Operation Chopper, which occurred Jan. 12, 1962 is often considered America’s first combat mission in Vietnam.
On March 29, 1973, the last American troops withdrew from South Vietnam and the last Vietnam Prisoners of War held in North Vietnam arrived home on American soil.
On May 15, 1975, the Vietnam War officially ended as South Vietnam surrendered to the North.
On Nov. 13, 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund built and dedicated the Vietnam Veteran Memorial Wall. More than 58,000 names were inscribed in stone as permanent recognition for those who never returned home.
In 2012, then President Barack Obama proclaimed May 28, 2012, through November 11, 2025, as the official commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War.
On March 28, 2016, President Donald Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act into law designating March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day.
Today, we honor our country’s more than six-and-a-half million living Vietnam Veterans and their families. Throughout today, solemnly remember the nine million American men and women who served on active duty during one of our nation’s longest and most divisive wars in our history. Additionally, we must recognize the 1,253 troops who have not yet returned to American soil.
To each person who served during the Vietnam War, we dedicate today to honor the courage and sacrifice you wielded for our country. Use today as an opportunity to show gratitude to our American service members and encourage others to reflect on the price of freedom our troops pay.
Thank you for your service, and welcome home.
Did you serve during the Vietnam War? Tell us which branch and unit you served with in the comments below.
Watch Sec. Robert Wilkie’s message to Vietnam War Veterans in the video below.
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Graphic designer: Alexandra Craig