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Vietnam Recognition Day 3/29/2020


Submitted

The story of the Vietnam era is familiar and notable, remarkable for its historic lessons of war, not only for the participants but also for those who were not alive at the time. It was a time of unrest and riots, demonstrations and assassinations. Vietnam was not the only cause of this nation’s turmoil, but it became a major part of it. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines going to and returning from Vietnam were ridiculed and insulted because they answered their country’s call, risking their lives for what they believed to be a just and worthy cause. In opposition, the anti-war crowd blurred its credibility by focusing its criticism primarily on the individual combatant instead of the conflict itself.
Everybody knew somebody who served during these turbulent times. If it was not a relative, it was the kid across the street or someone from your church. Most returned in good shape and, like generations before them, picked up their disrupted lives and moved on.
In January of 1961, President John F. Kennedy in his inaugural address, spoke these words: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and success of liberty.”
Following is a list of facts illustrating the costly nature of President Kennedy’s inaugural pledge:
2,709,918 Americans served in the Vietnam War.
About 60 percent were volunteers, while 40 percent were drafted.
There are 58,318 names on the Vietnam Memorial.
1418 of these names are from Missouri.
303,704 were wounded.
As of July 2017 there are still 1,611 Americans still unaccounted for; 21 are from Missouri.
The first casualty was Richard Fitzgibbon, who was killed on June 8, 1956. His son, Marine Lance Corporal Richard Fitzgibbon, III, was killed on September 7, 1965.
There are the names of eight women on the Wall.
There are three sets of fathers and sons plus 31 sets of brothers on the Wall.
39,996 were 22 or younger.
8,283 were just 19.
12 were just 17.
Five were 16.
One was just 15 – he was Marine Private First Class Dan Bullock. He was born on December 21, 1953, in Goldsboro, N.C., and joined the Marine Corps on September 18, 1968. Bullock arrived in Vietnam on May 18, 1969, and was a rifleman in the 2nd squad, 2nd platoon, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. He was killed during a North Vietnamese night attack on June 7, 1969.
2,709,918 million men and 7484 women served in the once very unpopular Vietnam War.
In the 2000 U.S. Census, 13.8 million people claimed to have served in Vietnam.
There is no such thing as glory in any war. However, there are noble warriors. The Vietnam Veteran, as well as those who served before them or who served after them, are, indeed, noble warriors.
We, the Vietnam Veterans, are proud to say we served our great nation during a very difficult time.

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