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Vietnam War Facts

Monday, April 16, 2012

(In honor of my husbands' service in the military and 3 tours there)

Vietnam Wall Facts:

SOMETHING to think about - Most of the surviving Parents are now deceased.

There are 58,272 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2011.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.

Beginning at the apex on panel 1E and going out to the end of the East wall, appearing to recede into the earth (numbered 70E - May 25, 1968), then resuming at the end of the West wall, as the wall emerges from the earth (numbered 70W - continuing May 25, 1968) and ending with a date in 1975. Thus the war's beginning and end meet. The war is complete, coming full circle, yet broken by the earth that bounds the angle's open side and contained within the earth itself.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.

39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.

8,283 were just 19 years old.

The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.

12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.

5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.

One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam .

1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam ..

31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.

Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.

54 soldiers on attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia . I wonder why so many from one school.

8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.

244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.

Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.

West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.

The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest . And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.

The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam . In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.

The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred.

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.

Please pass this on to those who served during this time, and those who DO Care.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    This year I participated in Rolling Thunder for the first time as the actual rider and not a passenger. Our capital is full of so many beautiful monuments to death. It's sad that so much beauty celebrates so much tragedy. I spent some time looking around and found my ex-husband's fathers name. It was strange to think about how that mans death - a man I had never met - changed my life so much.

    I really wish that our government would hear what we're saying with our protest. Never again, bring our people home, stop interfering in other countries and fix the problems at home. But most of all - Bring ALL of America's children home.
    2165 days ago
    Thank you for listing these facts.
    2204 days ago
    My brother was in 'Nam and he returned a completely different person.

    Once, I was on the little bus that takes you from the airport to the car rental office and I saw this guy with some patches on his jacket and on impulse I leaned over and said, "Viet Nam?" "Yes, " he said with a sheepish kind of look on his face. I reached out my hand and said, "Thank you for your service to our country." and he started crying. Not one person, in the 40+ years since he returned, had anyone outside his family said thank you.

    It's never too late to thank a vet!
    2205 days ago
    Darlene Thanks for posting this beautiful heart felt blog. My hubby was in Korea and they brought him home to send him to Viet Nam. emoticon and many emoticon .s to all who served. Someday I want to go and see the wall.
    2221 days ago
    Hi Darlene;

    Thank you so much for doing this, it is very moving. I don't have any that was in the war but in our town we lost several of our sons. I was in tears because it is such a loss of young people and older. How did 15 and 16 year old boys get in the war? We are a free country but most do not know the cost it takes to be free. God bless you dear for having the courage to print this.

    Your friend,

    2221 days ago
    Thank you Diane for this information. My brother in law was there. Still has some problems. My Scooter was in Iraq.
    I wore a POW braclet for years and the name i had, never came home he also died there.
    Yes i am glad your husband made it home and thank him for serving our beloved country.

    2226 days ago
    emoticon and a emoticon to your husband for serving.

    I so appreciate your blog! My dad served in the Korean War. I had no family serve in the Vietnam War - as a kindergardener I remember the taps played everyday at school when one of our own died instead of the bell - I have more memories of the taps than I do the bell. (I attended a mixed school in Detroit of all age groups - K - 12th) - I had a close family friend who served, he came home - never the same.

    I appreciate the information - someday I want to go and see the wall.

    The casualty numbers you shared do not mean just a number to me - they are lost lives who served our country and stood for freedom, fighting for it all.

    God Bless you!
    2226 days ago
    Darlene I will post this in my Blog as well so all my friends can see your posting.
    2226 days ago
    Thank you Darlene for posting these facts. Tell your Husband I said "Welcome Home"" and thank him for his service. I have seen the statistics many times, as always it is a great reminder of sacrafices made. I have been to the Vietnam Wall 2 times while on my Run For The Wall trips. Very moving experience.
    As a Vietnam Veteran myself, I am seeing our numbers diminish at a rapid pace. Many Veteran are dieing from Agent Orange complications at a young age. I will be heading out for my annual Run For The Wall in about 3 weeks. I will not be able to make it all the way to the Wall this year, but will be a part of the Run. Our trek cross-country makes several very memorable stops along the way at various Vietnam and other war Memorials.
    2226 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/18/2012 12:49:06 PM
    Thanks Darlene. Those who are too young to remember the Vietnam Era can't understand what these troops went through, and due to the rewriting of history, don't know what these troops did for them. Say thanks to David for me!
    2226 days ago
    Thank you Darlene for posting this. It was very interesting to read and learn the facts.
    2227 days ago
    Interesting post and thank you for sharing this with, Darlene. I had a few friends in the military and both of my ex husbands were in the military too. Sorry to about the ones no longer with us. God less their families. Tell David that i said thank you for his sacrifice and his service.
    2227 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/17/2012 3:34:07 PM
    My brother Mike was an Air Force Viet Nam vet. Thank you for reminding us of the sacrifices made on our behalf. God bless their families and thank your hubby for me for his service. I really think that being drafted or volunteering made men out of boys. My son was in the Marines but these days few are those who serve in the Armed Services. Too much "gimme mentality" Thank David for me please.

    Married three times:

    1-Air Force
    3-Navy, my current

    Probably more than you wanted to know..
    God bless those serving right now!
    2227 days ago
    Thank you, Darlene, for these facts and memories. I served in the U.S. Coast Guard during this time. I went in in August 1959 and retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in September 1979. I did not have any duty in Vietnam but I worked in a law office for about six years interviewing our people and preparing wills at that time for those going on ships to Vietnam.
    2227 days ago
    May the Light of Freedom continue to shine across our great land, regardless of who is in the White House or what the political climate is. There is no way to tell the families who gave much THANK YOU enough ... not just for the ones who lost a loved one but for all of those who's loved one went away and came back a different person. God bless each and every veteran ... Please give your husband a big hug from me and tell him I said THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for his time, his sacrifice and his service. emoticon
    2228 days ago
  • JDRAKE57
    My uncle was an enlisted Marine who did three tours in vietnam and I'm so thankful he made it out alive but he was older so that might account for it...
    2228 days ago
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