10 Incredible Photos Of The Heroes Who Fought The Vietnam War

History
U.S. Army paratroopers with 2nd Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade hold their automatic weapons above water as they cross a river in the rain during a search for Viet Cong positions in the jungle area of Ben Cat, South Vietnam on Sept. 25, 1965. The paratroopers had been searching the area for 12 days with no enemy contact.
Associated Press photo by Henri Huet

When the last of America’s troops left Vietnam on March 29, 1973, their return home brought a defining and divisive chapter in the country’s history to a close. Roughly 3 million men and women served in Vietnam and nearly 60,000 gave their lives over the course of the war.


Related: The story of the man that fought in his friend’s place in Vietnam »

To commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day, which was established on March 29, 2012 to honor those who served in the war, here are 10 incredible photos from the Vietnam War’s early days to years after.

After their unit landed in the middle of a Viet Cong staging area, a paratrooper with the 173rd Airborne provides cover for a wounded comrade while under sniper fire, on June 24, 1965.

Associated Press photo by Horst Faas

A soldier with the U.S. 1st Air Cavalry Division is helped by a fellow soldier as he crawls from the mud of a rice paddy while taking heavy Viet Cong fire near An Thi in South Vietnam on Jan. 30, 1966. U.S. troops were engaged in a fierce 24-hour battle with the enemy along the central coast.

Associated Press photo by Henri Huet

U.S. Army paratroopers with 2nd Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade hold their automatic weapons above water as they cross a river in the rain during a search for Viet Cong positions in the jungle area of Ben Cat, South Vietnam on Sept. 25, 1965. The paratroopers had been searching the area for 12 days with no enemy contact.

Associated Press photo by Henri Huet

First Cavalry Division medic Thomas Cole, with one of his own eyes bandaged, continues to treat wounded Staff Sgt. Harrison Pell, during a Jan. 30, 1966 firefight at An Thi in the Central Highlands between U.S. troops and a combined North Vietnamese and Vietcong force.

Associated Press photo by Henri Huet

Farewell ceremonies in Danang on July 25, 1969 mark the departure of the colors of the 9th Marine regiment which is being deployed to Okinawa under President Richard Nixon’s 25,000 troop withdrawal plan.

Associated Press photo

U.S. Marines prepare to board a ship in Danang for their return trip to the states.

Associated Press photo

Released prisoner of war Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm is greeted by his family at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, as he returns home from the Vietnam War, March 17, 1973.

Associated Press photo by Sal Veder

Don Wilkes, left, and Steve Giles stand outside of the Huntington, West Virginia Vet Center on July 30, 1980. Vietnam veterans themselves, both counselors endeavor to reach out to fellow veterans and their families in order to help them cope with the society they have returned to and must readjust to since the war.

Associated Press photo by Strat Douthat

Thousands of Vietnam veterans gather in Chicago's Grant Park following a parade through the city’s downtown on June 13, 1986. The parade was a "Welcome Home" tribute more than a decade after their return from Vietnam.

Associated Press photo by Charles Bennett

A man places his hand against the wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 11, 1986, on Veterans Day.

Associated Press photo by Frederick McDonald Jr.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that no U.S. troops will take part in enforcing the so-called safe zone in northern Syria and the United States "is continuing our deliberate withdrawal from northeastern Syria."

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan earlier on Friday said Turkey will set up a dozen observation posts across northeast Syria, insisting that a planned "safe zone" will extend much further than U.S. officials said was covered under a fragile ceasefire deal.

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Reuters journalists at the border heard machine-gun fire and shelling and saw smoke rising from the Syrian border battlefield city of Ras al Ain, although the sounds of fighting had subsided by mid-morning.

The truce, announced on Thursday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after talks in Ankara with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, sets out a five-day pause to let the Kurdish-led SDF militia withdraw from an area controlled by Turkish forces.

The SDF said air and artillery attacks continued to target its positions and civilian targets in Ral al Ain.

"Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night," SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted.

The Kurdish-led administration in the area said Turkish truce violations in Ras al Ain had caused casualties, without giving details.

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