VIETNAM WARRIORS: A STATISTICAL PROFILE IN UNIFORM AND IN COUNTRY
Reprinted from April 1997 VFW magazine.
*Vietnam Vets: 9.7% of their generation
*9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam era (Aug. 5,1964-May 7, 1975).
*8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war (Aug. 5,1964-Mar.28, 1973).
*3,403,100 (inc. 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the SEA Theater (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, flight crews in Thailand and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters).
*2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (Jan. 1, 1965-Mar. 28, 1973).
*Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960-1964.
*Of the 2.6 million, between 1-1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in combat, provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack.
*7,484 women (6,250 or 83% were nurses) served in Vietnam.
*Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (Apr. 30, 1969).
*Hostile deaths: 47,378
*Non-hostile deaths: 10,800
*Total: 58,202(includes men formerly classified as MIA and casualties). Men who have subsequently died of wounds account for the changing total.
*8 Nurses died--1 was KIA.
*Married men killed-17, 579
*61% of men killed were 21 or younger.
*Highest state death rate: West Virginia-84.1 (Nat'l. avg. 58.9 for every 100,000 males in 1970
*Wounded: 303,704 - 153,329 hospitalized -150,375 injured not req. hospitalization.
*Severely disabled: 75,000--23,214(100%); 5,283 lost limbs; 1.081 sustained multiple amputations.
*Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher than in WWII and 70% higher than in Korea. Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WWII.
*POWs: 766(114 died in captivity).
DRAFTEES VS VOLUNTEERS
*25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees.
*Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam.
*Reservists killed: 5,977
* Nat'l Guard: 6,140 served; 101 died.
*Total draftees (1965-73): 1,728,344.
*Actually served in Vietnam: 38%
*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.
* 86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian (includes Hispanics); 12.5% (7,241) were black; 1.2% belonged to other races.
* 170,000 Hispanics served in Vietnam; 3,070 (5.2%) died there.
* 70% of enlisted men killed were of Northwest European descent.
* 86.8% of the men killed as a result of hostile action Caucasian; 12.1%(5,711) were Black; 1.1% belonged to other races.
* 34% of blacks that enlisted volunteered for the combat arms.
* Overall, blacks suffered 12.5% of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when the percentage of blacks of military age was 13.5% of the population.
* Religion of dead: Protestant---64.4%; Catholic---28.9%; other/none---6.7%.
* 76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle/working class backgrounds.
* Three-fourths 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 in Vietnam had a high school education or better when they entered the military service. (63% of Korean War vets and only 45% of WWII vets had completed high school upon separation).
* Death by region per 100,000 populations; South--31; West--29.9; Midwest--28.4; Northeast--23.5.
WINNING AND LOSING
* 82% of veterans who saw heavy combat strongly believe the war was lost because of lack of political will.
* Nearly 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 and 90% of those who saw heavy combat are proud to have served their country.
* 66% of Vietnam vets say they serve again if called upon.
* 87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in high esteem.
Reprinted from April 1997 VFW magazine.