Home VFW Post 12024 VFW Auxiliary 12024 VFW History Membership Mobile Applications News & Information Programs Texas Veterans Information The Wars The Woodlands, Texas



The Vietnam Peace Accords which were signed in Paris on January 27, 1973 ended the direct American involvement in the war. The war had lasted officially lasted 11 years becoming America’s longest war.

Over 58,000 Services members were killed and over 153,000 were wounded with 2,338 still listed as MIA. The first American causality was OSS LTC Peter Dewey, who was killed on 26 September 1945 well before the major involvement of American forces. In the last engagement of the war May 12-15 of 1975, fifteen servicemen lost their lives though direct enemy contact and three others listed as MIA were executed by the Khmer Rouge during the Mayaguez incidence.

A moment of silence and prayer was held for the fallen and MIA.

3,403,100 personnel served in the South East Asian Theater of operations.

“While much political hay is made of the war, factual matters need to be rationalized,” said James Masters who narrated the observance.
The Soviet Union in essence declared war on the United States by violating the end of war agreement regarding the treatment of Berlin resulting in the Berlin blockade. Later, the Soviets used their surrogate forces, North Korean and Chinese Communists to directly engage the United States and her allies. Vietnam as with Korea should be viewed within the context of containment wars to contain the expansion of communism, Masters said.
“With this in mind it is the Soviet Union that no longer exists and Vietnam is a single nation ruled by Hanoi, but of late looks to America as its economic example,” said Masters. “It appears to me that our service in Vietnam has lead to an America that is safe from communist threat, for the time being.”

The program ended with some interesting facts on those whom served in Vietnam:

  • 91% of Vietnam Veterans say they are glad they served (Westmoreland papers)
  • 74% said they would serve again even knowing the outcome (Westmoreland papers)
  • There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-veterans of the same age group (from a Veterans Administration study) (Westmoreland papers)
  • Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison - only 1/2 of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes. (Westmoreland papers)
  • 97% were discharged under honorable conditions; the same percentage of honorable discharges as ten years prior to Vietnam (Westmoreland papers)
  • 85% of Vietnam Veterans made a successful transition to civilian life. (McCaffrey Papers)
  • Vietnam veterans' personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent. (McCaffrey Papers)
  • And lastly most Vietnam veterans were drafted.
  • 2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers.
  • 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. (Westmoreland papers)
  • Approximately 70% of those killed were volunteers. (McCaffrey Papers)

For the U.S. -- William P. Rogers, Secretary of State (62 Times)
Republic of Viet-Nam -- Tran Van Lam, Minister for Foreign Affairs
Democratic Republic of Viet-Nam -- Nguyen Duy Trinh, Minister for Foreign Affairs
Provisional Revolutionary Government of Viet-Nam -- Nguyen Thi Binh, Minister for Foreign Affairs

The first death of an American serviceman in Vietnam occurred Sept. 26, 1945. OSS Major A. Peter Dewey was killed in action by the Communist Vietminh near Hanoi.

Air Force Tech Sgt. Richard B Fitzgibbon, Jr. murdered in Vietnam by a fellow airman on June 8, 1956, has been formally recognized by the Pentagon as the first American to die in that war.

There is another unique aspect to this story: Marine Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III -- his son -- was killed in action in Vietnam on Sept. 7, 1965. The Fitzgibbons are the only father-son honorees on the Wall.

When Fitzgibbon’s name was added to the Wall before Memorial Day 1999, the total number of names memorialized totaled 58,214.

Footnote: The last U.S. serviceman to die in combat in Vietnam, Lt. Col. William B. Nolde, was killed by an artillery shell at An Loc, 60 miles northwest of Saigon, only 11 hours before the truce went into effect.

Copyright © 2013 VFW POST 12024, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED