WASHINGTON – As Americans commemorate National Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29 many of our soldiers who returned home continue to struggle every day.
The day acknowledges the 2.7 million Americans who served in Vietnam, the 304,000 who were wounded and the 58,000 who were killed during the war.
While the conflict officially ended on April 30, 1975, many who served still find themselves fighting every day. It’s estimated that 271,000 Vietnam veterans currently suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates that on any given night, nearly 40,000 veterans are homeless. Of those homeless veterans, almost half served during the Vietnam War. As Vietnam vets get older, many find themselves unable to pay for medical treatment they need.
Many of the soldiers came back from a war America wanted to forget and found that they too felt forgotten. To this day, 43 years later, Vietnam veterans continue to slip through the cracks.
Organizations like Operation First Response and the DAV Charitable Trust Service are helping to make a difference in the lives of veterans. You can also check in with your local homeless shelter to see what you can do to make a difference in the life of a Vietnam vet.