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Vietnam War Statistics

Of the almost three million Americans who served in Vietnam, less than 850,000 are estimated to be alive today, with the youngest Vietnam veteran's age approximately 60 years old.


2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam; this number represents 9.7% of their generation. Of the 2.7 million, 40 to 60 percent either fought in combat, provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack. 7,484 women served as nurses. Peak troop strength in Vietnam was 543,482 on April 30, 1968. The use of Agent Orange is taking a huge toll on Vietnam Veterans. Exposure to it can cause Ischemic Heart Disease and failure, Lung Cancer, Kidney failure, and/or COPD related disorders.


The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis in 1958. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.

Hostile deaths numbered 47,378 and non-hostile deaths totaled 10,800. This includes men formerly classified as MIA. Those who have subsequently died of wounds account for the changing total.

Eight nurses died -- one was KIA.

Sixty-one percent of the men killed were 21 years old or younger. The average age of men killed was 23 years old. Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old, and the oldest man killed was 62 years old. Highest state death rate: West Virginia.

Wounded soldiers: 303,704. Severely disabled: 75,000; 5,283 lost limbs; 1,081 sustained multiple amputations. Amputations or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher than in WWII and 70% higher than in Korea. Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WWII.

Missing in Action numbered 2,338. With regard to POWs, 114 died in captivity. As of January 15, 2014 (the date of this report) there were 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.


648,500 of the total forces in-country were draftees and they accounted for 30.4% of combat deaths. Reservist deaths numbered 5,977. National Guard who served totaled 6,140; 101 NG members died. The total number of draftees from 1965 to 1973 was 1,728,344. The last man was drafted on June 30, 1973.



According to a VA study, there was no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group. Also, Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison - only one-half of one percent of them have been jailed; 85% of them  made successful transitions to civilian life.


82% of veterans who saw combat strongly believe the war was lost because of lack of political will. Nearly 75% of the public agrees it was a political failure.


97% of Vietnam-era veterans were honorably discharged. 90% of those who saw combat are proud to have served their country and 74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome. 87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in high esteem.



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