Vietnam War Veterans Day

Have you ever heard someone say “Welcome Home” to a Vietnam Veteran, and if so, do you know why this is done? It is a small gesture of gratitude and recognition for their immense sacrifices for our country. These brave soldiers were not only fighting in a war zone, but they also had to face the hostility and rejection of their own country upon their return home. As these brave young men and women returned to the U.S., they received hostile treatment and barely spoke of their service. Brave Veterans remaining silent about their experiences created complications regarding health issues such as post-traumatic stress and complications from Agent Orange. 

March 29th is National Vietnam War Veterans Day, the perfect time to create a new meaningful tradition for a Vietnam Veteran. As a part of a national effort to recognize the men and women who were denied a proper welcome upon returning home more than 40 years ago, The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 was established as a day of national observance to honor the men and women whose sacrifices should not be forgotten.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, between 1964 and 1973, over 8.7 million Americans served in the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War. Out of those, more than 300,000 were wounded, and over 58,000 Servicemembers lost their lives. Of those deaths, over 47,000 were a result of direct combat, and between 40-60% of male soldiers fought in combat or provided close combat support.

Although women were barred from combat, more than 265,000 women served in the military during Vietnam. Approximately 11,000 women served in-country in health care, communications, intelligence, and administrative positions during the conflict. More than 5,000 women served as nurses in-country. These nurses performed medical procedures different from their predecessors in WWII through the help of helicopters and medevac, creating a higher rate of survival for our soldiers, even those with severe trauma.

Many soldiers felt isolated and disconnected from society after returning home to a country divided over the war. They often hid their service from strangers and tried to disassociate themselves from the war. This made it difficult for them to transition back to everyday life and caused many to struggle with emotional and physical trauma. To make matters worse, some soldiers were even mistreated by their own families, leaving them to cope with their struggles alone.

After lasting almost 20 years, the Vietnam War produced a significant number of veterans. As of 2020, there were approximately 6.3 million Vietnam Veterans with a median age of 71. The largest group of male Veterans today are 72-74 years old. According to, they are the young men who were drafted or enlisted for the Vietnam War in 1964 at 18-20 years old.

It’s important to acknowledge that Vietnam Veterans were not given the respect and honor that they deserved upon their return home. While this is a painful part of our history, it’s a reminder of how far we’ve come in terms of supporting and advocating for our servicemembers. Today, we can work towards building a more inclusive and empathetic society where all veterans are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. We can honor the sacrifice and service of Vietnam Veterans by actively working towards creating a more welcoming and supportive environment for all who have served our country.

Saying “Welcome Home” is a small but powerful way to show your gratitude and support for them. It is a chance to acknowledge their contributions to our country and to help them heal from the scars of war. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that these brave soldiers receive the welcome they were denied so many years ago. Let us take action and do our part never to forget their sacrifices and always show them the respect and honor they deserve.

As we approach March 29th, National Vietnam War Veterans Day, let us take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by our brave men and women who served their country. It’s a time to show appreciation and create new traditions that honor the Vietnam Veterans. The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 serves as a reminder that these heroes were not given a proper welcome when they came home more than 40 years ago. Let us never forget their sacrifices and show them the empathy and gratitude they deserve. Please join VCC in saying Thank You and Welcome Home to a Vietnam Veteran for their brave service to our nation.