From the Vietnam Veterans Association:
In case you Vietnam Veterans haven't been paying attention these past few decades after you returned from Vietnam, the clock has been ticking.
The following are some statistics that are at once depressing yet, in a larger sense, should give some a sense of pride.
"Of the 2,709,918 Americans who served in Vietnam ; less than 850,000 are estimated to be alive today, with the youngest American Vietnam veteran's age approximated to be 54 years old."
So, if you're alive and reading this, how does it feel to be among the last 1/3rd of all the U.S. Vets who served in Vietnam ? Don't know about you, but feels a little strange considering this is the kind of information we are used to reading about WWII and Korean War vets.
So the last 14 years we have been dying at a faster rate then most.. Too fast, only a few will survive by 2015...if any.
Every day, 390 Vietnam Veterans die. So in 2190 days from today you will be lucky to be alive.
These statistics were taken from a variety of sources to include: The VFW Magazine, the Public Information Office, and the HQ CP Forward Observer -1st Recon, April 12, 1997.
STATISTICS FOR IN-COUNTRY VIETNAM VETERANS:
A total of 9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam Era (August 5, 1964 - May 7, 1975).
A total of 8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war (Aug 5, 1964-March 28,1973).
A total of 2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam , this number represents 9.7% of their generation.
A total of 3,403,100 (Including 514,330 offshore) personnel served in the broader Southeast Asia Theater ( Vietnam , Laos , Cambodia , flight crews based in Thailand , and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters).
A total of 2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (Jan. 1,1965 - March 28, 1973). Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964.
Of the 2.6 million, between 1M and 1.6 M (40-60%) either fought in combat, or provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack.
7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam .
Peak troop strength in Vietnam : 543,482 (April 30, 1968).
The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1958. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.
Hostile deaths: 47,378
Non-hostile deaths: 10,800
Total: 58,202 (Includes men formerly classified as MIA and Mayaguez casualties). Men who have subsequntly died of wounds account for the changing total.
8 nurses died -- 1 was KIA..
61% of the men killed were 21 or younger..11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old.
Of those 47,378 hostile deaths in Vietnam :
29,869 were single
17,509 were married.
Average age: 23.1 years
Enlisted Personnel: 30,274.
Officers: 6,598 28.43
Warrant Officers: ,2,724
11B (Infantry, Rifleman) MOS: 18,465
Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.
The oldest man killed was 62 years old.
Highest State death rate: West Virginia - 84.1% (national average 58.9% for every 100,000 males in 1970).
150,375 injured requiring no hospital care.
Severely disabled: 75,000,
23,204: 100% disabled;
5,283 lost or severely impaired limbs;
1,081 sustained multiple amputations.
Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher than in WWII and 70% higher than Korea . (Expanded use of land mines)
Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WWII.
AT THE END OF THE WAR
58,338 - Missing in Action
POWs: 766 (114 died in captivity)
As of January 15, 2004, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.
DRAFTEES VS.. VOLUNTEERS:
25% (648,500) of total force in country were draftees.
66% of U.S. armed forces members were drafted during WWII
Draftees accounted for 30% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam .
National Guard: 6,140 served: 101 died.
Total draftees (1965 - 1973): 1,728,344.
Army Draft: 1,685,711
Marine Corps Draft: 42,633
Last man drafted: June 30, 1973.
RACE AND ETHNIC BACKGROUND:
88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian
10.6% (275,000) were black
1% belonged to other races.
Killed in Action
12% (7,241) were black;
1% belonged to other races.
70% of enlisted men killed were of North-west European descent.
14.6% (1,530) of non-combat death were among blacks.
34% of blacks who enlisted, volunteered for the combat arms.
Overall blacks suffered 12% of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when the percentage of blacks of military age was 13.5% of the total population.
Religion of Dead: Protastant -- 64.4%; Catholic -- 28.9%; other/none --
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.
76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from the working class
75% had family incomes above the poverty level
50% were from middle income backgrounds.
Some 23% of Vietnam vets had fathers with professional, managerial or technical occupations.
79% of the men who served HAD a High School education or higher.
63% of Korean War vets
45% of WWII vets had completed High School
DEATH BY REGION
South -- 31%
Midwest -- 28.4%
Northeast -- 23.5%.
DRUG USAGE & CRIME:
There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group. (Source: Veterans Administration Study, 1995/National Association of Chiefs of Police)
Vietnam Veterans are far 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.
82% of veterans who saw heavy combat strongly believe the war was lost because of lack of political will.
75% of the public agrees it was a failure of political will, not of arms..
97% of Vietnam-era veterans were honorably discharged.
91% of actual Vietnam War veterans
90% of those who saw combat say they were proud serve their country.
74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome.
87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in high esteem..
INTERESTING CENSUS STATISTICS
THOSE TO CLAIM TO HAVE "Been There": (Census Figures)
1,703,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive as of August,1995
9,492,958 Falsely claim to to have served Vietnam (Census Stats., 2000)
1995 Federal Census
Vietnam Veteran population estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe, losing nearly 711,000 between '95 and '00.
Vietnam Veterans are dying at a rate of 390 per day.
During the most recent Federal Census (yr. 2000), the number of Americans falsely claiming to have served in-country is: 13,853,227. (This means that 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 that 2,709,918 U.S. military personnel as having served in-country (Corrections and confirmations to this erred 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 day and night.)
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)