Talk:Vietnam veteran

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Homeless claim[edit]

A vet claimed today that the US government house's "30 million homeless Vietnam veterans with PTSD."

this sounds like bull but how many vets today are homeless? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 12:39, 30 June 2005 (UTC)

Here's what's printed in the article. "According to official sources, 2,594,000 US personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam between January 1, 1965 and March 28, 1973 and 8,744,000 US personnel were on active duty between August 5, 1964-March 28, 1973. More than 57,000 US personnel died while serving in Vietnam." 30 mil is an obvious exageration. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 10:48, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Further Homeless Vet Discussion? - But, there is need to add to this article a discussion of Homeless Vietnam Veterans who are mentioned in articles as numbering 250,000 to 450,000, with usually higher numbers used. this situation esp resulted from drug addiction from service in Vietnam and from PST and so the fact that so many are still 30-35 years later homeless, means this group has not been cared for, not been given adequate services and has been esp ignored. And that stems from one of the main problems that benefits / payments / monthly checks for disabled veterans are so low. Esp meaningly the monthly payments are too low to eat AND afford an apartment. /s/ box car willy SMgt 3rd (talk) 03:47, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

How Many in the US?[edit]

How many Vietnam War Veterans are there in the United States today? Seems like a glaring omission from the article- or else I didn't read it carefully enough. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:49, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

"Vietnam ERA Veteran" is the Proper Term for soldiers who did not serve in Vietnam[edit]

"Vietnam era Veteran" is the proper term for soldiers who did not serve in Vietnam but who did serve during that time .

A "Vietnam veteran" is only the proper term for a soldier who actually served in the Vietnam War theater (includes naval forces who fought, patrolled and supplied from just off the coastline). (talk) 22:35, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

K. Adams 1950[edit]

i don't understand this reference. it needs clarification. might it be vandalism? Toyokuni3 (talk) 16:06, 27 April 2008 (UTC) likewise 'j. lee 1951'. while both these reference apparently have meaning for whoever made them, they add nothing to the article, and are confusing. i am going to remove them now.Toyokuni3 (talk) 15:39, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Other Countries[edit]

The wording of the section on Other Countries: New Zealand could be improved. "Even at the height of New Zealand involvement in 1968, the force was only 580 men. New Zealand's total contribution numbered approximately 4,000 personnel. 37 were killed and 187 were wounded." is somewhat dismissive, but it has to be remembered that the population of the US is 100 times New Zealand's - this equates to 400,000 total personnel and 58,000 men deployed at one time.

A better rendition of this sentence would be: "At the height of New Zealand involvement in 1968, the force was 580 men. New Zealand's total contribution numbered approximately 4,000 personnel. 37 were killed and 187 were wounded." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:37, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

Vietnam Veterans Memorial[edit]

Nothing in this article mentions the efforts by Nam vets to establish the Memorial and the good that it has done to repair the image of the veterans who served there. In my experience nothing made me feel better about my service than the building and dedication of the Memorial. Perhaps this should be included in the section on repairing the image of the Vietnam Vet? Even the Moving Wall displays have done a great deal of good in improving the image of the vet. Although I have not been fortunate enough to visit the Memorial in Washington, I have been to Moving Wall displays on several occaisions and each have been very well received by the general public. Cuprum17 (talk) 15:07, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

This trend continues with Desert Storm veterans and for those serving in Iraq[edit]

I just deleted that as it is about as stupid as saying, 'People hit by cars continue to suffer fatal injuries ...' —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:17, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Edit by Flr9 on 03:13 30 December 2008 removed from Article 'Vietnam Veterans[edit]

Although the Vietnam war ended over 33 years ago, it still goes on in the United States between it's own Veterans of that war. It is the only war that includes the word "ERA" in it, when describing All veterans who Honorably served, not only in-country, but those stationed at other overseas locations and bases on the U.S. mainland. By separating those who served in and out of Vietnam, it places a worthless feeling of rejection onto those who were not actually in Vietnam. Many of the Veterans of the Vietnam war provided needed intelligence from other bases overseas, ammunition, arms, vehicles, medicine, food, etc. This was a joint effort by all those serving in all branches of the Armed Services throughout the world, and it's appauling to think those who were in Vietnam deserve any more recognition than those not actually there.

Some of this is our own governments fault for splitting the definition of what actually is the term of a Vietnam vet, and the term Vietnam ERA vet. All those who served during the Vietnam war should have been awarded the Vietnam Service Medal. They served during that time, and if they were Honorably discharged they should get the recognition they also deserve. During WW1, WW2, and Korea, if you served during those time periods you were classified as a veteran of that war. It made no difference whether you did your part stateside or in another country not involved directly with the countries actually at war. This destinction has been removed from the Vietnam wartime veterans and needs to be reinstated by our government officials. Not doing this will only keep the wounds of the Vietnam war open on ALL the veterans who served, not only in-country but out-of-country. It is also surprising that those that were in-country are not standing up in support of their fellow veterans who did a multitude of jobs to support them. Pitting one group of vets against another for not actually being in Vietnam, is unacceptable in this great country we all defended during that time, in a very unpopular war at home.

Remember all service members of the Vietnam war underwent the same treatment those in-country received. Such as assaulted by the anti-war protestors in the airports when coming home, being descriminated against when they went for jobs, typecast as baby killers, dopers, losers, etc. No fanfair coming home, and above all, no thanks by those back home, whether by the state or federal government, or even your own family. There was no distinction by the people back home, if you wore a uniform of any branch of the service, we were all treated the same, more of a reason to embrace all those who served, not only by our government but by our brothers who were in-country.

Cuprum 17's comments on the above[edit]

    1. I don't agree with what you have said, but I will defend your right to say it. This belongs on the discussion page and not in the article. Cuprum17 (talk) 04:54, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Those service members who were assigned in-country were awarded the Vietnam Service Medal for a reason, they were in Vietnam. Those who weren't in country may have been doing important work around the globe in other places, but they weren't In-Country, and therefore not eligible for that particular service medal. They probably qualified for the National Defense Service Medal. I know that is small comfort but you will just have to deal with it. No one in that time period had a very good time of it, but most of us came home and got on with our lives. I understand some Vietnam "ERA" veterans feeling left out in the cold and not eligible for the VFW, but that's life. There is always the American Legion if you wish to belong to a worthwhile organization that does something for ALL Veterans. Check it out. I believe that all Vietnam ERA Vets got the same GI Bill benefits. I used my to go back to college, how about you?

Even if you had served in-country, there is still a pecking order. If you weren't a grunt in a line company, you were probably called a Rear Echelon Mother Fucker, regardless of what you did to support the troops in the field. I was in Military Intelligence; boy did that get a hoot from the 11 bravo crowd! But, someone has to do it and just as I supplied the intel to the field, there is also plenty of other soldiers in the logistical tail that supply the beans, bullets, bucks, beer and bodybags to keep things running smoothly.

If you served---anywhere during the Vietnam War, In country or out---thank you for your service to our great country and good luck to you, and I sincerely mean that. Cuprum17 (talk) 05:32, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

i'm afraid i'm not going to do much to settle this, because i feel there are valid points in both arguments.the distinction between vn vets and vn era vets is neither as clear as cuprum would have it nor as blurred as the other party's pov. consider the following. the 2 vn decorations i'm entitled to wear are what are called 'campaign' decorations. they are very specifically intended to grace the chests of those who served in that campaign, in 'theatre', to use wwii terminology. my dad was in the navy 1943-1946. as such he was unquestionably a wwii veteran. but he never left conus, and consequently was only entitled to the american theatre medal (and a couple of others which are irrelevant). viet nam era vets are entitled to the national defence service medal on much the same basis, although i think that decoration has been cheapened somewhat by the fact that it has been issued continuously ever since. i live in annapolis,md., and it bothers me a little to see it on the uniforms of plebe midshipmen who have been in the navy for six weeks (the first time they let them out--plebe parents' weekend). bottom line here: i can't agree that if you were on active duty during nam, you should be entitled to wear the ribons. in-country only. that has always been the definition of campaign decorations. i would favour the creation of a medal recognizing service during the war, but it would have to be with the provision that in-country vets would get that too. after all, i was in the navy for 4 years. i was only in nam for 16 months. academic though, it's not going to happen.

as far as discrimination in civilian life (nobody's going to like this!), i think that is largely overblown.sorry, but there it is. the vast majority of us, our lives proceded pretty much as they would have otherwise. most of us got out, went back to school, (or back to the plant we would have worked at anyway) jobs, wives, kids, blah,blah,blah. guy i was with there came back, went to the u. of tennessee, did an mba, and is now a multi-millionaire real estate developer.(actually, now that i think about it, he may be bankrupt. ;-( ) another is an rn. others obviously had problems. but ptsd is really nothing new. in wwii they called it combat fatigue. see either the movie 'captain newman, m.d.' or the one about ira hayes, the pima indian who raised the flag on mt. suribachi.a lot of wwii (korea, wwi, etc)vets, their psych problems didn't end when the shooting stopped. conversely, nobody ever suffered ptsd from having someone call them names.

i could go on here at considerably greater length.cuprum's point about a further pecking order is also well taken and can perhaps best be put thus :only a combat infantryman is entitled to a combat infantry badge.Toyokuni3 (talk) 07:11, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

sorry, i got a litle wound up. on the topic of cuprum's deletion, it is absolutely correct. that sort of editorializing has no place in an encyclopedia article. 'nuff said. Toyokuni3 (talk) 17:07, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
The National Defense Service Medal is a military decoration of the United States military originally commissioned by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Created in 1953, the National Defense Service Medal was intended to be a “blanket campaign medal” awarded to any member of the United States military who served honorably during a designated time period of which a “national emergency” had been declared.
In the years since the creation of the National Defense Service Medal, it is authorized only for the following time periods.
June 27, 1950 to July 27, 1954 for service during the Korean War
January 1, 1961 to August 14, 1974 for service during the Vietnam War
August 2, 1990 to November 30, 1995 for service during the Gulf War
September 11, 2001 to a date to be announced for service during the War on Terrorism [1]
The National Defense Service Medal during my time in the Army (1966-68) was known as the "bubble gum wrapper award" and serveral other derogatory names that escape me in my old age. The one thing that the Army did though was to not award the NDSM to anyone with less than 181 days of active duty. This made about 99% of the Reserves and National Guard ineligible for the "Gum Wrapper". After 181 days the company clerk would put the paperwork in for the award and presto, you finally had something to wear besides a name tag on your khakis!
Notice in the dates for the award that there are times when it was not awarded. Must not have been any "National Emergencies" to contend with! I personally have been awarded the NDSM three times in my military career and wear it proudly each time I wear my dress uniform for military functions, I am retired (24 Years service) and have earned the right to wear the uniform I served in at military ceremonies and funerals. I'm as proud of my NSDM's as any other medal that I am entitled to wear and that includes the Vietnam Service Medal.
I guess my point is that the NDSM may have the perception of being handed out to everyone, but that is not the case. There are criteria. The 181 day rule during the Vietnam Era was one. Cut off dates for various "National Emergencies" is another. Someone who served between 1974 and 1990 didn't get one. Some of these cut-off dates are used for eligbility for the American Legion.
There is an medal awarded now for service almost anywhere outside a combat zone. The Global War on Terrorism Service Medal is awarded to virtually all armed forces members not eligible for the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. There are issuance criteria, but almost all members of the armed forces qualify. I qualified for the Service Medal, but didn't serve in a combat zone and so don't qualify for the Expeditionary Medal. Do I feel cheated? No. Distinctions are made in the criteria for each award and I didn't ever serve in Iraq or Afganistan (the two major areas of eligibility for the Expeditionary Medal).
The one award that is missing that Vietnam Era vets would be eligible for but the award was never created is the "Cold War Service Medal". I feel that the armed forces members that served around the globe in all kinds of weather in all kinds of circumstances and in some really incredible shit holes that the only the military has that perfect talent to send people; should receive the recognition of a greatful nation. Millions of veterans assisted in staring down the Russian Bear and other brutal regimes and helped to end the Cold War just by being where they were and ready to do anything it took to Carry That Big Stick and beat the snot out of anyone that tried to enter our turf. Just being that deterent force and looking tough helped to bring an end to the Cold war. Good for our side! Now if we just had the Medal to show our grandkids.... Unfortunately, Congress never acted on any of the several proposals before them to create a "Cold War Service Medal. Perhaps, as Cold War vets we do have a bitch.

Cuprum17 (talk) 00:27, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

New Zealand vets were all volunteers, I believe[edit]

I think it's worth mentioning, with the non-US forces, who were drafted & who were volunteers. I don't know for sure myself, but when I was in NZ, the lady I was staying with told me that the NZ soldiers all volunteered to go to Vietnam. Thanks very much.--Tyranny Sue (talk) 03:54, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Veterans from the other side[edit]

What about veterans who fought for the NVA or the Viet Cong? It's hard to find information about these people because every reference to "Vietnam veterans" leads to Americans or their allies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:33, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

I think someone added sections on USSR vets and PRC vets as well. I suspect more info can be found from the official channels of the Vietnamese government. (talk) 18:20, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

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