10 Incredible Photos Of The Heroes Who Fought The Vietnam War


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.

Associated Press photo by Henri Huet
(U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid)

Navy Airman Uriel Gerardo-Olivas wanted to hire a hitman to murder another sailor he says had threatened his life and the lives of his girlfriend and baby.

But, he had a problem.

He didn't have the money.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Matt Herbst.

Search and rescue efforts have ended without locating a sailor from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, who was reported overboard on Wednesday, Navy officials have announced.

Read More Show Less

An American citizen who allegedly served as a sniper for ISIS and became a leader for the terrorist group is expected to appear in federal court on Friday after being returned to the United States by the Defense Department, officials said.

Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, who was born in Kazakhstan and became a naturalized U.S. citizen, is charged with providing and attempting to provide material support to ISIS, the Justice Department announced on Friday.

Read More Show Less
Members of the Iranian revolutionary guard march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011. (Reuters photo)

LONDON/DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Friday they had captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf after Britain seized an Iranian vessel earlier this month, further raising tensions along a vital international oil shipping route.

Britain said it was urgently seeking information about the Stena Impero after the tanker, which had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia, suddenly changed course after passing through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.

Read More Show Less

U.S. military advisors could be taking a self-driving pack mule back to Afghanistan with them on their next deployment.

Read More Show Less