Free Interviews with Vietnam War Veterans
The Vietnam War was fought between the communist government of North Vietnam and the anti-communist government of South Vietnam, lasting from 1955 to 1975. Though fought completely on foreign soil, it was the longest war America had fought at that time. From communist guerillas, jungles, and mines on the battlefield, to the draft and protest of the anti war movement at home, the war became a quagmire of issues, which were difficult to get out of or escape.
Hostilities mainly began when a communist group known as the Viet Cong began waging guerrilla warfare on the anti-communist government of South Vietnam. Incapable of fighting the communist on their own, the United States supplied their ally with weapons, money, and air power. At first, America believed that their air superiority and bombs would be enough to drive out the communist, but it eventually became clear that this was not sufficient.
With the Chinese and other communist countries aiding North Vietnam, the country soon turned their poorly-trained soldiers into a real army. The Vietnam People's Army (or the North Vietnamese Army) began conducting conventional warfare and engaging in battles.
In 1965, U.S. combat units were deployed to fight this new threat. This was a difficult war to fight, because many of the soldiers were not used to the heat, the jungles, and monsoons, and were unprepared to be in surroundings they had never experienced before. Besides their environment being untenable, mines were everywhere, making every move dangerous. These men bravely went forward, despite the mental agony of never knowing which step would be their last.
Conflict was occurring in America as well, as the anti-war movement grew, especially among college students during the '60s and '70s. The huge loss of lives and the unlikelihood of victory caused many protests against the war and a demand for peace.
After the Tet Offensive in 1968, U.S. ground forces were withdrawn. The fighting carried on though, mostly from the air and with bombs, until the war ended in 1975, with the capture of Saigon, and victory for North Vietnam and the communist.
Join Historical Truth 101 as we explore more of the amazing history of this war. Find out more about "Grunts," soldiers called so because they would involuntarily grunt when they sat down from the heavy packs they wore. Hear veterans recount what it was like to fight in such an environment and in a place where soldiers had difficulty distinguishing friends from foes. Seeing how long these men fought will give you an idea of how the Vietnam timeline made this war different from any that preceded it.
These courageous men were not honored when they returned, as had been the case previously, due to the anti-war sentiments that many possessed and the fact that they had not come back victorious. These brave men had given up years of their lives, put forth extraordinary effort, and so much more, but received so little respect from their country on their homecoming. Historical Truth 101 seeks to honor these valiant veterans by preserving and sharing their Vietnam War stories.
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