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Subject: Vietnam Facts
Vietnam Facts, Statistics, Fake Warrior Numbers, and Myths
from Military.com | Nick Bacon | January 05, 2006
It's time the American people learn that the United States military did not
lose the War, and that a surprisingly high number of people who claim to
have served there, in fact, did not. As Americans, support the men and women
involved in the War on Terrorism, the mainstream media are once again
working tirelessly to undermine their efforts and force a psychological
loss or stalemate for the United States. We cannot stand by and let the media do
to today's warriors what they did to us 35 years a go.
Below are some assembled some facts most readers will find interesting.
It isn't a long read, but it will....I guarantee....teach you some things
you did not know about the Vietnam War and those who served, fought, or died
there. Please share it with those with whom you communicate.
Vietnam Facts, Statistics, Fake Warrior Numbers, and Myths Dispelled:
9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the official Vietnam era from August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975.
2,709,918 Americans served in uniform in Vietnam
Vietnam Veterans represented 9.7% of their generation.
240 men were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War
The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1958. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station, which was later named for him.
58,148 were killed in Vietnam
75,000 were severely disabled
23,214 were 100% disabled
5,283 lost limbs
1,081 sustained multiple amputations
Of those killed, 61% were younger than 21
11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old
Of those killed, 17,539 were married
Average age of men killed: 23.1 years
The largest age group: 33,103 were 18 years old.
Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.
The yuoungest killed was 15 years old.
The oldest man killed was 62 years old.
8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.
West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.
The most casualty deaths for a single day were on January 31, 1968 - 245 deaths.
The most casualty deaths for a single month were May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred.
As of January 15, 2 004, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War
97% of Vietnam Veterans were honorably discharged
91% of Vietnam Veterans say they are glad they served
74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome
Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups.
Vietnam veterans' personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent.
87% of Americans hold Vietnam Veterans in high esteem.
There is no difference in drug use between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group (Source: Veterans Administration Study)
Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison -- only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes.
85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life.
Interesting Census Stats and "Been There" Wanabees:
Common Myths Dispelled:
- 1,713,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive as of August 1995 census
figures -- During that same Census count, the number of Americans
falsely claiming to have served in-country was: 9,492,958 -- As of the
current Census taken during August 2000, the surviving U.S. Vietnam Veteran population
estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe, losing nearly
711,000 between '95 and '00. That's 390 per day. During this Census
count, the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country is: 13,853,027.
By this census, four out of five who claim to be Vietnam vets are not.
The Department of Defense Vietnam War Service Index officially provided by The War Library
originally reported with errors that 2,709,918 U.S. military personnel as having served
in-country. Corrections and confirmations to this errored index resulted in the addition
of 358 U.S. military personnel confirmed to have served in Vietnam but not originally
listed by the Department of Defense. (All names are currently on file and accessible 24/7/365).
Isolated atrocities committed by American Soldiers produced torrents of outrage from
anti-war critics and the news media while Communist atrocities were so common that they
received hardly any media mention at all.
The United States sought to minimize and prevent attacks on civilians while
North Vietnam made attacks on civilians a centerpiece of its strategy.
Americans who deliberately killed civilians received prison sentences while
Communists who did so received commendations.
From 1957 to 1973, the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725 Vietnamese and
abducted another 58,499. The death squads focused on leaders at the village level and
on anyone who improved the lives of the peasants such as medical personnel, social workers,
and school teachers. -- Nixon Presidential Papers
- Myth: Common Belief is that most Vietnam veterans were drafted.
- Fact: 2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served
in World War II were drafted. Approximately 70% of those killed in Vietnam were volunteers.
- Myth: The media have reported that suicides among Vietnam veterans range from 50,000
to 100,000 - 6 to 11 times the non-Vietnam veteran population.
- Fact: Mortality studies show that 9,000 is a better estimate. "The CDC Vietnam Experience
Study Mortality Assessment showed that during the first 5 years after discharge, deaths
from suicide were 1.7 times more likely among Vietnam veterans than non-Vietnam veterans.
After that initial post-service period, Vietnam veterans were no more likely to die from
suicide than non-Vietnam veterans. In fact, after the 5-year post-service period, the
rate of suicides is less in the Vietnam veterans' group.
- Myth: Common belief is that a disproportionate number of blacks were killed in the Vietnam War.
- Fact: 86% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasians, 12.5% were black,
1.2% were other races. Sociologists Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler
in their recently published book "All That We Can Be," said they analyzed
the claim that blacks were used like cannon fodder during Vietnam "and can
report definitely that this charge is untrue. Black fatalities amounted to 12 percent
of all Americans killed in Southeast Asia;" a figure proportional to the number of blacks
in the U.S. population at the time and slightly lower than the proportion of blacks in
the Army at the close of the war."
- Myth: Common belief is that the war was fought largely by the poor and uneducated.
- Fact: Servicemen who went to Vietnam from well-to-do areas had a slightly
elevated risk of dying because they were more likely to be pilots or infantry officers.
Vietnam Veterans were the best-educated forces our nation had ever sent into combat.
79% had a high school education or better.
Here are statistics from the Combat Area Casualty File (CACF) as of November 1993.
The CACF is the basis for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall): Average age of 58,148
killed in Vietnam was 23.11 years. (Although 58,169 names are in the Nov. 93 database,
only 58,148 have both event date and birth date. Event date is used instead of declared
dead date for some of those who were listed as missing in action).
- Myth: The common belief is the average age of an infantryman fighting in Vietnam was 19.
- Fact: Assuming KIAs accurately represented age groups serving in Vietnam,
the average age of an infantryman serving in Vietnam to be 19 years old is a myth; it
is actually 22. None of the enlisted grades have an average age of less than 20. The
average man who fought in World War II was 26 years of age.
- Myth: The Common belief is that the domino theory was proved false.
- Fact: The domino theory was accurate. The ASEAN (Association of Southeast
Asian Nations) countries, Philippines , Indonesia , Malaysia , Singapore and
Thailand stayed free of Communism because of the U.S. commitment to Vietnam. The
Indonesians threw the Soviets out in 1966 because of America 's commitment in Vietnam.
Without that commitment, Communism would have swept all the way to the Malacca Straits
that is south of Singapore and of great strategic importance to the free world. If you
ask people who live in these countries who won the war in Vietnam, they have a different
opinion from the American news media. The Vietnam War was the turning point for Communism.
- Myth: The common belief is that the fighting in Vietnam was not as intenseas in
World War II.
- Fact: The average infantryman in the South Pacific during World War II
saw about 40 days of combat in four years. The average infantryman in Vietnamn saw about
240 days of combat in one year thanks to the mobility of the helicopter. One out of every
10 Americans who served in Vietnam was a casualty. 58,148 were killed and 304,000 wounded
out of 2.7 million who served. Although the percent that died is similar to other wars,
amputations or crippling wounds were 300 percent higher than in World War II ...75,000
Vietnam veterans are severely disabled. MEDEVAC helicopters flew nearly 500,000 missions.
Over 900,000 patients were airlifted (nearly half were American). The average time lapse
between wounding to hospitalization was less than one hour. As a result, less than one
percent of all Americans wounded, who survived the first 24 hours, died. The helicopter
provided unprecedented mobility. Without the helicopter it would have taken three times
as many troops to secure the 800 mile border with Cambodia and Laos (the politicians
thought the Geneva Conventions of 1954 and the Geneva Accords or 1962 would secure the border).
- Myth: Kim Phuc, the little nine year old Vietnamese girl running naked from the
napalm strike near Trang Bang on 8 June 1972.....shown a million times on American
television....was burned by Americans bombing Trang Bang.
- Fact: No American had involvement in this incident near Trang Bang that
>> burned Phan Thi Kim Phuc. The planes doing the bombing near the village were VNAF
(Vietnam Air Force), and were being flown by Vietnamese pilots in support of South
Vietnamese troops on the ground. The Vietnamese pilot who dropped the napalm in error
is currently living in the United States. Even the AP photographer, Nick Ut, who took
the picture, was Vietnamese. The incident in the photo took place on the second day of
a three-day battle between the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) who occupied the village of
Trang Bang and the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) who were trying to force
the NVA out of the village. Recent reports in the news media that an American commander
ordered the air strike that burned Kim Phuc are incorrect. There were no Americans involved
in any capacity. "We (Americans) had nothing to do with controlling VNAF," according to
Lieutenant General(Ret)James F. Hollingsworth, the Commanding General of TRAC at that
time. Also, it has been incorrectly reported that two of Kim Phuc's brothers were killed
in this incident. They were Kim's cousins, not her brothers.
- Myth: The United States lost the war in Vietnam.
- Fact: The American military was not defeated in Vietnam. The American
military did not lose a battle of any consequence. From a military standpoint, it was
almost an unprecedented performance. General Westmoreland quoting Douglas Pike, a professor
at the University of California, Berkley, "a major military defeat for the VC and NVA."
The United States did not lose the Vietnam War; the South Vietnamese did. The fall of
Saigon happened 30 April 1975, two years AFTER the American military left Vietnam. The
last American troops departed in their entirety 29 March 1973. How could we lose a war
we had already stopped fighting? We fought to an agreed stalemate. The peace settlement
was signed in Paris on 27 January 1973. It called for release of all U.S. prisoners,
withdrawal of U.S. forces limitation of both sides' forces inside South Vietnam and a
commitment to peaceful reunification. The 140,000 evacuees in April 1975 during the fall
of Saigon consisted almost entirely of civilians and Vietnamese military, NOT American
military running for their lives. There were almost twice as many casualties in Southeast
Asia (primarily Cambodia) the first two years after the fall of Saigon in 1975 then there
were during the 10 years the U.S was involved in Vietnam. Thanks for the perceived loss
and the countless assassinations and torture visited upon Vietnamese, Laotians, and
Cambodians goes mainly to the American media and their undying support-by-misrepresentation
of the anti-War movement in the United States.
As with much of the Vietnam War, the news media misreported and misinterpreted the
1968 Tet Offensive. It was reported as an overwhelming success for the Communist forces
and a decided defeat for the U.S. forces. Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite
initial victories by the Communists forces, the Tet Offensive resulted in a major defeat
of those forces. General Vo Nguyen Giap, the designer of the Tet Offensive, is considered
by some as ranking with Wellington, Grant, Lee and MacArthur as a great commander. Still,
militarily the Tet Offensive was a total defeat of the Communist forces on all fronts.
It resulted in the death of some 45,000 NVA troops and the complete, if not total, destruction
of the Viet Cong elements in South Vietnam. The Organization of the Viet Cong Units in
the South never recovered. The Tet Offensive succeeded on only one front and that was
the News front and the political arena.
This was another example in the Vietnam War of an inaccuracy becoming the perceived
truth. However, inaccurately reported, the News Media made the Tet Offensive famous.
(Thanks to Tom Jacobs for providing the above material.)
Additional Material on the POW / Mia Issue (Thanks to Ann Mills-Griffiths of the National League of POW/MIA Families