Vietnam Veterans' of America Chapter 899 New Jersey

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Vietnam Statistics

A Comprehensive Study on facts of the Vietnam War.  
Common Myths Dispelled:


Myth: Common Belief is that most
Vietnam
veterans were drafted.
Fact: 2/3 of the men who served in
Vietnam were volunteers. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. Approximately 70% of those killed in Vietnam were volunteers.

Myth: The media have reported that suicides among
Vietnam veterans range from 50,000 to 100,000 - 6 to 11 times the non-Vietnam veteran population.
Fact: Mortality studies show that 9,000 is a better estimate. “The CDC Vietnam Experience Study Mortality Assessment showed that during the first 5 years after discharge, deaths from suicide were 1.7 times more likely among
Vietnam veterans than non-Vietnam veterans. After that initial post-service period, Vietnam veterans were no more likely to die from suicide than non-Vietnam veterans. In fact, after the 5-year post-service period, the rate of suicides is less in the Vietnam veterans’ group.

Myth: Common belief is that a disproportionate number of blacks were killed in the Vietnam War.
Fact: 86% of the men who died in
Vietnam were Caucasians, 12.5% were black, 1.2% were other races. Sociologists Charles C. Moskos and John Sibley Butler, in their recently published book “All That We Can Be,” said they analyzed the claim that blacks were used like cannon fodder during Vietnam ”and can report definitely that this charge is untrue. Black fatalities amounted to 12 percent of all Americans killed in Southeast Asia - a figure proportional to the number of blacks in the U.S. population at the time and slightly lower than the proportion of blacks in the Army at the close of the war.”
Myth: Common belief is that the war was fought largely by the poor and uneducated.
Fact: Servicemen who went to
Vietnam from well-to-do areas had a slightly elevated risk of dying because they were more likely to be pilots or infantry officers. Vietnam Veterans were the best educated forces our nation had ever sent into combat. 79% had a high school education or better.

Here are statistics from the Combat Area Casualty File (CACF) as of November 1993. The CACF is the basis for the
Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall): Average age of 58,148 killed in Vietnam
was 23.11 years. (Although 58,169 names are in the Nov. 93 database, only 58,148 have both event date and birth date. Event date is used instead of declared dead date for some of those who were listed as missing in action)

Deaths - Average Age
Total: 58,148 23.11 years
Enlisted: 50,274 22.37 years
Officers: 6,598 28.43 years
Warrants: 1,276 24.73 years
E1: 525 20.34 years
11B MOS: 18,465 22.55 years

Myth: The common belief is the average age of an infantryman fighting in Vietnam was 19.
Fact: Assuming KIAs accurately represented age groups serving in Vietnam, the average age of an infantryman (MOS 11B) serving in Vietnam to be 19 years old is a myth, it is actually 22. None of the enlisted grades have an average age of less than 20. The average man who fought in World War II was 26 years of age.

Myth: The Common belief is that the domino theory was proved false.
Fact: The domino theory was accurate. The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries,
Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand stayed free of Communism because of the U.S. commitment to Vietnam. The Indonesians threw the Soviets out in 1966 because of America’s commitment in Vietnam. Without that commitment, Communism would have swept all the way to the Malacca Straits that is south of Singapore and of great strategic importance to the free world. If you ask people who live in these countries that won the war in Vietnam, they have a different opinion from the American news media. The Vietnam War was the turning point for Communism.
 
Myth: The common belief is that the fighting in Vietnam was not as intense as in World War II.
Fact: The average infantryman in the South Pacific during World War II saw about 40 days of combat in four years. The average infantryman in
Vietnam saw about 240 days of combat in one year thanks to the mobility of the helicopter. One out of every 10 Americans who served in Vietnam was a casualty. 58,148 were killed and 304,000 wounded out of 2.7 million who served. Although the percent that died is similar to other wars, amputations or crippling wounds were 300 percent higher than in World War II ....75,000 Vietnam veterans are severely disabled. MEDEVAC helicopters flew nearly 500,000 missions. Over 900,000 patients were airlifted (nearly half were American). The average time lapse between wounding to hospitalization was less than one hour. As a result, less than one percent of all Americans wounded, who survived the first 24 hours, died. The helicopter provided unprecedented mobility. Without the helicopter it would have taken three times as many troops to secure the 800 mile border with Cambodia and Laos (the politicians thought the Geneva Conventions of 1954 and the Geneva
Accords or 1962 would secure the border).
 
Myth: Kim Phuc, the little nine year old Vietnamese girl running naked from the napalm strike near Trang Bang on 8 June 1972.....shown a million times on American television....was burned by Americans bombing Trang Bang.
Fact: No American had involvement in this incident near Trang Bang that burned Phan Thi Kim Phuc. The planes doing the bombing near the village were VNAF (
Vietnam Air Force) and were being flown by Vietnamese pilots in support of South Vietnamese troops on the ground. The Vietnamese pilot who dropped the napalm in error is currently living in the United States
. Even the AP photographer, Nick Ut, who took the picture, was Vietnamese. The incident in the photo took place on the second day of a three day battle between the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) who occupied the village of Trang Bang and the ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) who were trying to force the NVA out of the village. Recent reports in the news media that an American commander ordered the air strike that burned Kim Phuc are incorrect. There were no Americans involved in any capacity. “We (Americans) had nothing to do with controlling VNAF,” according to Lieutenant General (Ret) James F. Hollingsworth, the Commanding General of TRAC at that time. Also, it has been incorrectly reported that two of Kim Phuc’s brothers were killed in this incident. They were Kim’s cousins not her brothers.
 
Myth: The United States lost the war in Vietnam.
Fact: The American military was not defeated in
Vietnam. The American military did not lose a battle of any consequence. From a military standpoint, it was almost an unprecedented performance. General Westmoreland quoting Douglas Pike, a professor at the University of California, Berkley
a major military defeat for the VC and NVA.

THE UNITED STATES DID NOT LOSE THE WAR IN
VIETNAM
, THE SOUTH VIETNAMESE DID.

Read on........
The fall of
Saigon happened 30 April 1975, two years AFTER the American military left Vietnam. The last American troops departed in their entirety 29 March 1973.

How could we lose a war we had already stopped fighting? We fought to an agreed stalemate. The peace settlement was signed in
Paris on 27 January 1973. It called for release of all U.S. prisoners, withdrawal of U.S. forces, limitation of both sides’ forces inside South Vietnam and a commitment to peaceful reunification. The 140,000 evacuees in April 1975 during the fall of Saigon consisted almost entirely of civilians and Vietnamese military, NOT American military running for their lives. There were almost twice as many casualties in Southeast Asia (primarily Cambodia) the first two years after the fall of Saigon in 1975 then there were during the ten years the U.S. was involved in Vietnam. Thanks for the perceived loss and the countless assassinations and torture visited upon Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians goes mainly to the American media and their undying support-by-misrepresentation of the anti-War movement in the United States.
As with much of the Vietnam War, the news media misreported and misinterpreted the 1968 Tet Offensive. It was reported as an overwhelming success for the Communist forces and a decided defeat for the
U.S. forces.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Despite initial victories by the Communists forces, the Tet Offensive resulted in a major defeat of those forces. General Vo Nguyen Giap, the designer of the Tet Offensive, is considered by some as ranking with
Wellington, Grant, Lee and MacArthur as a great commander. Still, militarily, the Tet Offensive was a total defeat of the Communist forces on all fronts. It resulted in the death of some 45,000 NVA troops and the complete, if not total destruction of the Viet Cong elements in South Vietnam
. The Organization of the Viet Cong Units in the South never recovered. The Tet Offensive succeeded on only one front and that was the News front and the political arena. This was another example in the Vietnam War of an inaccuracy becoming the perceived truth. However inaccurately reported, the News Media made the Tet Offensive famous.

Please give all credit and research to CPT. Marshal Hanson, U.S.N.R (Ret.)

CPT. Scott Beaton, Statistical Source

URL: http://www.quarterhorsecav.org/WEEK4.HTM


 
Examining the Myths of the Vietnam War
(click here)  A Conference,
under the auspices of The RADIX Foundation,
which took place at Simmons College,
300 The Fenway, Boston MA, 26-29 July 2004

The Below is a sample video list taken from the above listed website.
This is a comprehensive study that was performed producing a massive
 amount of valuable information on
Vietnam.  Go to the home page above
 to find video links to the below topics.  Of particular note is the section on
 B.G. Burkett, who is Co-Author of Stolen Valor, an excellent eye opener
 for those interested.  Click on the Real
Vietnam Veteran below to see it.

1

0900-1045

26 Jul

Keynote Address

Denton (video)

2

1100-1245

26 Jul

Hollywood and the Vietnam War

Lanning

3

1330-1515

26 Jul

Winter Soldier Investigation

Swett

4

1530-1715

26 Jul

The Real Vietnam Veteran

Burkett

5

1800-2100

26 Jul

From Vietnam to Iraq

Sherman

6

0830-1015

27 Jul

War Stories I – The View from the Field

Sherman

7

1030-1215

27 Jul

War Stories II – The View from HQ

McLeroy et al

8

1315-1500

27 Jul

The So-called “Anti-War” Movement

Friedman

9

1515-1700

27 Jul

PTSD, Agent Orange, and Race

Hopewell/Spey

10

1800-2100

27 Jul

Teach In -- 2004

Taylor

11

0830-1015

28 Jul

The Aftermath in SE Asia

Turner

12

1030-1215

28 Jul

The Culpability of the Media

Droge/Willey

13

1315-1500

28 Jul

Teaching the Vietnam War

Laurie et al

14

1515-1700

28 Jul

POW/MIA issue – Fact, Fiction and Spin

Bell/Veith

15

1800-2100

28 Jul

The Vietnamese Point of View

SE Asian Community

16

0830-1015

29 Jul

The Legacy of the Vietnam War

Lomperis

17

1030-1215

29 Jul

The Myth of the Returning Warrior

Sherman