Paul Heavens (
Mon, 15 Sep 1997 16:11:36 -0400

In response to Marc B. Adin,

An incredible story you wrote Marc. I too have been on "both sides". Unlike
you, I found "signing on" to the army took less courage than resisting the
war. For me signing on meant following public opinion and going with my
mates. The notion that one would end up in real conflict seemed quite
distant and even romantic. ( I guess I had watched too many Korean war
movies) Being oFrom sixties-l-owner Tue Sep 16 00:32:25 1997
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Date: Mon, 15 Sep 1997 22:37:21 +0100
From: Joe McDonald <>
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Joe McDonald wrote:

These are results of a new survey from THE VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL FUND
Wash DC which i thought the list would find interesting and it plays
with preconceptions we may have about who Vietnam Veterans really are.


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-March 28,
1973). 3,403,100 (including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the
Southeast Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight crews based in
Thailand, and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters). 2,594,000
personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (Jan 1,1965- March
28, 1973). Another 50,000 served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964. Of
the 2.6 million, between 1-1.6 million (40-60%) eithere fought in
combat, 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 strenghth in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1969).

Hostile deaths: 47,378. Non-hostile deaths: 10,800. Total 58,202
(includes formerly classified as MIA and Mayaquez casualties),
subsequently died of wounds account for the changing total. 8 nurses
died-1 was KIA. Married men killed: 17,539. 61% of the men killed were
21 or younger. Highest state death rate: West Virginia- 84.1 (national
average 58.9 for every 100,000 males in 1970). Wounded: 303,704-153,329
hospitalized + 150,375 injured requiring no hospital care. Severely
disabled: 75,000-23,214 100% disabled; 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. Missing in Action: 2,338. POWs: 766 (114 died in captivity).

25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees. (66% of US
armed forces members were drafted during WWII). Draftees accounted for
30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam. Reservists killed: 5,977.
National Guard: 6,140 served, 101 died. Total draftees (1965-73)
1,728,344. Actually served in Vietnam 38%. Marine Corps draft: 42,633.
Last draftee June 30, 1973.

88.4% of those who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian. 10.6% 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% of total) died there. 70% of enlislisted men killed were of
Northwest European descent. 86.8% of the men who were killed as a
result of hostile action were Caucasian; 12.1% (5,711) were black; 1.1%
belonged to other races. 14.6% (1,530) of non-combat deaths were among
blacks. 34% of blacks who enlisted volunteered for the combat of 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 total
population. Religion of Dead; Protestant-64.4%; Catholic-28.9%;

76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle and working class
packgrounds. 3/4ths 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% who served
had a high school education or better. (63% of Korean WAr and only 45%
of WWII vets had completed high school upon seperation). Deaths by
region per 100,000 of population: South-31; West-29; Midwest-28.4;

82% of vets 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 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 would serve
again if called upon. 87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in
high esteem.

cheers, joe mcdonald

"When his head had been blown off and it was rolling down it still went
on shouting: "Never mind if death is near! Do your job and never
fear!"", Jaroslav Hasek, The Good Soldier Svejk
country joe Hm Paje < 
Berkeley Vietnam Veterans Memorial <