BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
National Vietnam War Veterans Day is observed annually on March 29. It recognizes veterans who served in the US military during the Vietnam War.
Vietnam Veterans Day commemorates the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans and their families and part of a national effort to recognize the men and women who were denied a proper welcoming upon return.
On March 29, 2012, President Barack Obama proclaimed March 29, 2012, as Vietnam Veterans Day. It called “upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that commemorate the 50 year anniversary of the Vietnam War.”
On March 28, 2017, President Trump signed the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017. The act recognized March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day and included the day among those days on which the US flag should especially be displayed.
March 29 was chosen as National Vietnam War Veterans Day because on March 29, 1973, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) was disbanded and the last U.S. combat troops departed the Republic of Vietnam. The last unit was elements of MACV’s Infantry Security Force (Special Guard), actually special couriers.
The website www.americanwarlibrary.com states, “Because of faulty record keeping there is no confirmed number of Americans who served in Vietnam. The best estimate that the Department of Defense can conclude is that between 2,709,918 to 3,173,845 GI’s served in-country and in-waters Vietnam between 1954 and 1975.”
“The American War Library estimates that approximately one-third of those who did serve in Vietnam (approximately 850,000) are alive today [18 Aug 2007].