Why were so many countries involved in the Vietnam War?

I have a few questions about the Vietnam War. What did the soldiers eat? How many people were involved in the war? What were the soldiers like? Did the Vietnamese or Americans do anything really brutal? Were there any famous people who fought in the war?

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  • cantcu
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
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    We ate C-rations that had been around since WWII and were still that old when we got them! Back at Base we would get regular, sort of, cooked meals, to include bread wth meal worms that had been cooked as well! After awhile it didn't bother you!

    Over 3 million 403 thousand fought or were in Vietnam!

    7,484 Women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam.

    Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1969)

    Hostile deaths: 47,378

    Non-hostile deaths: 10,800

    Total: 58,202 (Includes men formorley classified as MIA and Mayaguez Casualties.) Men who have 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 limb; 1,081 Sustained multiple amputations.

    Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher than in WW II and 70% higher than Korea. Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WW II.

    Missing in action: 2,338

    Everything anyone does in combat is brutal! It is a fight for your life and you don't want it to be yours!!

    Democrats who served:

    Jim Webb, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Virginia -- rifle platoon and company commander with the Fifth Marine Regiment in the An Hoa Basin west of Danang; was awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star Medal, two Bronze Star Medals, and two Purple Hearts. (1)

    Representative Jack Murtha (D-PA) - distinguished 37-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps, Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts, retired from the Marine Corps Reserve as a colonel in 1990. (1)

    Representative Richard Gephardt, former House Minority Leader - Missouri Air National Guard, 1965-71. (1, 2)

    Representative David Bonior - Staff Sgt., United States Air Force 1968-72 (1, 2)

    Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle - 1st Lt., U.S. Air Force SAC 1969-72 (1, 2)

    Former Vice President Al Gore - enlisted August 1969; sent to Vietnam January 1971 as an army journalist, assigned to the 20th Engineer Brigade headquartered at Bien Hoa, an airbase twenty miles northeast of Saigon. More facts about Gore's Service

    Former Senator Bob Kerrey... Democrat... Lt. j.g., U.S. Navy 1966-69; Medal of Honor, Vietnam (1, 2)

    Senator Daniel Inouye, US Army 1943-'47; Medal of Honor, World War Two (1, 2)

    Senator John Kerry, Lt., U.S. Navy 1966-70; Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat V, and three awards of the Purple Heart for his service in combat (1)

    Representative Charles Rangel, Staff Sgt., U.S. Army 1948-52; Bronze Star, Korea (1, 2)

    Former Senator Max Cleland, Captain, U.S. Army 1965-68; Silver Star & Bronze Star, Vietnam (1, 2)

    Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) - U.S. Army, 1951-1953. (1)

    Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) - Lt., U.S. Navy, 1962-67; Naval Reserve, 1968-74. (1, 2)

    Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) - U.S. Army Ranger, 1971-1979; Captain, Army Reserve 1979-91 (1)

    Senator Fritz Hollings (D-SC) - served as a U.S. Army officer in World War II, receiving the Bronze Star and seven campaign ribbons.

    Representative Leonard Boswell (D-IA) - Lt. Col., U.S. Army 1956-76; two tours in Vietnam, two Distinguished Flying Crosses as a helicopter pilot, two Bronze Stars, and the Soldier's Medal.

    Former Representative "Pete" Peterson, Air Force Captain, POW, Ambassador to Viet Nam, and recipient of the Purple Heart, the Silver Star and the Legion of Merit. Rep. Mike Thompson, D-CA: Staff sergeant/platoon leader with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, U.S. Army; was wounded and received a Purple Heart.

    Bill McBride, Democratic Candidate for Florida Governor - volunteered and served as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam; awarded Bronze Star with a combat "V."

    Gray Davis, former California Governor, Army Captain in Vietnam; received Bronze Star.

    Pete Stark, D-CA, served in the Air Force 1955-57

    Wesley Clark, Democratic Presidential Candidate - lengthy military career.

    Chuck Robb, US Senator from Virginia, served in Vietnam

    Howell Heflin... Democrat... Silver Star

    George McGovern, famous liberal, awarded Silver Star & DFC, dozens of missions during WWII.

    Former President Bill Clinton - avoided the draft through student deferments; in the autumn of 1969, Clinton entered the draft but received a high number (311) and was never called to serve. (CNN article.) "...it was his doubts about the morality of the war and the Selective Service system that led him to abandon the ROTC idea and to subject himself to a draft lottery. Only the luck of the draw - a high lottery number - kept him out. " (Jeff Greenfield, ABC News, quoting Gov. Clinton.)

    Former President Jimmy Carter, most recent recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, seven years in the Navy. "Except for his fellow service-academy graduate Dwight Eisenhower, no President of the twentieth century spent more years in uniform than Carter." (New Yorker Magazine)

    Former Presidential Nominee Mike Dukakis - United States Army, 1955-'57 (1)

    Former Senator/Vice Presidential nominee Lloyd Bentsen - B-24 pilot in WWII 1942-'45, Squadron Commander; earned Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. (1)

    Former Vice President Walter Mondale, U.S. Army 1951-1953

    Former Senator John Glenn, D-OH (1974-1999) - Served in WWII and Korea; extensive military commendations include the Distinguished Flying Cross on six occasions, and the Air Medal with 18 Clusters.

    Congressman Tom Lantos, D-CA - Did not serve in the US military; did serve in the Hungarian anti-Nazi underground in WWII. Saved by Raoul Wallenberg, is the only Holocaust survivor to serve in Congress.

    Prominent Republicans DID NOT SERVE

    Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert - avoided the draft, did not serve.

    Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey - avoided the draft, did not serve.

    Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay - avoided the draft, did not serve (1). "So many minority youths had volunteered ... that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself."

    House Majority Whip Roy Blunt - did not serve

    Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist - did not serve. (An impressive medical resume, but not such a friend to cats in Boston.)

    Majority Whip Mitch McConnell, R-KY - did not serve (1)

    Rick Santorum, R-PA, third ranking Republican in the Senate - did not serve. (1)

    George Felix Allen, Republican Senator from Virginia - a supporter of Nixon and the Vietnam war, did not serve. (1)

    Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott - avoided the draft, did not serve.

    Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld - served in the U.S. Navy (1954-57) as an aviator and flight instructor. (1) Served as President Reagan's Special Envoy to the Middle East and met with Saddam Hussein twice in 1983 and 1984.

    GW Bush - decided that a six-year Nat'l Guard commitment really means four years. Still says that he's "been to war." Huh?

    VP Cheney - several deferments (1, 2), the last by marriage (in his own words, "had other priorities than military service") (1)

    Former Att'y Gen. John Ashcroft - did not serve (1, 2); received seven deferment to teach business ed at SW Missouri State

    Jeb Bush, Florida Governor - did not serve. (1)

    Karl Rove - avoided the draft, did not serve (1), too busy being a Republican.

    Former Speaker Newt Gingrich - avoided the draft, did not serve

    Former President Ronald Reagan - due to poor eyesight, served in a noncombat role making movies for the Army in southern California during WWII. He later seems to have confused his role as an actor playing a tail gunner with the real thing.

    Phil Gramm - avoided the draft, did not serve, four (?) student deferments

    Senator Richard Shelby, did not serve (1)

    Senator Jon Kyl, R-AZ - did not serve (1, 2)

    Senator John Cornyn, R-TX - did not serve. (1)

    Senator Tim Hutchison, R-AR - did not serve (1, 2)

    Rep. Christopher Cox, R-CA, (formerly) fifth-ranking Republican in the House - did not serve. (1)

    Rep. John T. Doolittle, R-CA, sixth-ranking Republican in the House - did not serve.

    Representative Saxby Chambliss, Georgia - did not serve (1, 2), had a "bad knee" (yet somehow feels he has a right to attack Max Cleland's patriotism)

    Former Representative JC Watts - did not serve (1, 2)

    Jack Kemp, did not serve (1, 2) (was unfit because of a knee injury, though he heroically continued as a National Football League quarterback for another eight years - source)

    Former Vice President Dan Quayle, avoided Vietnam service, got a slot in the journalism unit of the Indiana National Guard when the unit was at 150% capacity (at least he showed up for his duty, unlike GW)

    Eliot Abrams, did not serve (1, 2) (however, played a key role in subverting democracy in South America)

    Paul Wolfowitz, did not serve

    Former Representative Vin Weber, did not serve

    Richard Perle, did not serve (is the current bloodshed in the Middle East a direct result of his treasonous meddling in Clinton Administrstion foreign policy?)

    Douglas Feith, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy - did not serve.

    Rudy Giuliani, did not serve

    Michael Bloomberg, did not serve

    George Pataki, did not serve

    Spencer Abraham, did not serve

    John Engler, did not serve

    Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) - website used to claim service as a "Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm veteran." A current biographical website makes no such claim. In reality, was a National Guard lawyer who never left South Carolina during the Gulf War.

    Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA, did not serve

    Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CA/49th, there were some problems with his service.

    Rep. John M. McHugh, R-NY - avoided the draft, did not serve

    Rep. Todd Platts, R-PA - did not serve (1)

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, CA Republican Governor - went AWOL from his Austrian army base to enter a bodybuilding competition

    Republicans that Served

    Former Senator Bob Dole - an honorable man. http://www.bobdole.org/bio/wwII.php

    Chuck Hagel - two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, Vietnam. http://www.senate.gov/~hagel/Information/bio.htm

    Duke Cunningham - nominated for the Medal of Honor, received the Navy Cross, two Silver Stars, fifteen Air Medals, the Purple Heart, and several other decorations Recently entered plea bargain on felony charges of bribery, etc. etc.

    Senator Jeff Sessions U.S. Army Reserves, 1973-1986

    Colin Powell. What are we to make of Powell? On the one hand, a long career as a military manager. On the other hand, accused of covering up the My Lai massacre. Back on that first hand, one of the seemingly sane voices in this administration when it comes to Iraq (or at least he used to be). On the other hand, a clear hypocrite ("I am angry that so many of the sons of the powerful and well-placed... managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units...")

    Representative Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), served in USMC in Vietnam; wounded in action.

    Former Senator Bob Dole - an honorable man. http://www.bobdole.org/bio/wwII.php

    Chuck Hagel - two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star, Vietnam. http://www.senate.gov/~hagel/Information/bio.htm

    Duke Cunningham - nominated for the Medal of Honor, received the Navy Cross, two Silver Stars, fifteen Air Medals, the Purple Heart, and several other decorations Recently entered plea bargain on felony charges of bribery, etc. etc.

    Senator Jeff Sessions U.S. Army Reserves, 1973-1986

    Representative Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), served in USMC in Vietnam; wounded in action.

    "B-1" Bob Dornan - avoided Korean War combat duty by enrolling in college acting classes (Orange County Weekly article). Enlisted only after the fighting was over in Korea.

    Senator John McCain - McCain's naval honors include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross

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