President Trump signed a proclamation into law that officially designates March 29 an annual national day of recognition for veterans of the Vietnam War. It recognizes the day in 1973 when the bulk of U.S. troops left South Vietnam, and Hanoi released the remaining U.S. POWs.
“This makes it official, which pleases VFW,” said Carlos Fuentes, director of VFW’s National Legislative Service. “Vietnam War veterans deserve to be recognized with their own official day.”
Public Law 115-15 – The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017 – encourages citizens, businesses and other institutions to display the U.S. flag on March 29. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) co-authored the legislation.
According to statistics compiles by VFW magazine:
- 3,403,100 million personnel (including 514,300 offshore) served in the Southeast Asia Theater, which included Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and sailors in adjacent South China Sea water.
- 2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam from Jan. 1, 1965 to March 28, 1973.
- 303,704 personnel were wounded.
- 47,418 personnel died of hostile causes.
- 10,811 personnel died of non-hostile causes.
According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, as of March 29, a total of 1,580 U.S. military personnel and 31 civilians are still unaccounted for from the war.