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.

The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) leaves its San Diego homeport Jan. 17, 2020. (Navy photo/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Dylan Lavin)

San Diego is poised to become the home port of three Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carriers in 2020, tripling the carrier footprint in the region and bringing a $1.6 billion per year boost to the local economy.

The additional ships and the roughly 3,000 sailors attached to each will bring additional strain to an already tight housing market and may threaten more traffic on the already congested city of Coronado streets, Interstate 5 and the San Diego-Coronado Bridge.

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A smoking U.S. Army Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle in Poland on January 18, 2020 (Facebook/Orzysz 998)

A U.S. Army Stryker armored vehicle burst into flames on the side of a Polish roadway on Saturday, the Army confirmed on Monday.

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A U.S. Soldier assigned to 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) runs for cover during a live fire exercise at the 7th Army Training Command, Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany. (U.S. Army/Gertrud Zach)

A memo circulating over the weekend warning of a "possible imminent attack" against U.S. soldiers in Germany was investigated by Army officials, who found there to not be a serious threat after all.

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The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.

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Comedian and activist Jon Stewart meets with members of Toxic Exposures in the American Military (TEAM), a coalition of veteran and military service organizations, Jan. 17 on Capitol Hill. (Courtesy of TEAM)

Comedian Jon Stewart has joined forces with veterans groups to make sure service members who have been sickened by toxins from burn pits get the medical care they need, according to the Military Officers Association of America.

"Quite frankly, this is not just about burn pits — it's about the way we go to war as a country," Stewart said during his Jan. 17 visit to Washington, D.C. "We always have money to make war. We need to always have money to take care of what happens to people who are selfless enough, patriotic enough, to wage those wars on our behalf."

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