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As we travel through time, questions have been raised by school children during educational programs developed for schools, colleges, and universities.

Today we attempt to give to you the top questions asked by these students along with the response.  As the months pass you will find more of these Q&A's here!

1.  Who were the enemy in Vietnam?

       A.  We fought against the N.V.A. (North Vietnam Army) and the V.C. (Viet Cong).

2.  What was the terrain like?

       A.  There were hills, valleys, mountains, jungle, flatlands, rice paddies, rivers and shoreline.

3.  What kind of foods did you eat?

       A.  Hot food if lucky the LRRP (long Range Recon Patrol) rations or C rations (meals in a can).

4.  Where and what were the tunnels like?

       A.  Tunnels in Vietnam were throughout the country, some small but many large complexes such as in Cu Chi.

5.  Did everyone fight in the war?

       A.  Not all soldiers in Vietnam saw combat.  Many worked in support jobs, which in some cases was just as important as being in combat.

5.  How did you keep in contact with people back home?

       A.  Through the mail, there were a very few of us that had a chance to call once during our tour.

7.  How long did you serve in Vietnam?

       A.  Unless you re-enlisted in country and asked to remain, or you were severely wounded, you served a one year tour of duty.

8.  What was the climate like?

       A.  For eight months you had extreme heat between 100 and 120 degrees and during the monsoon season for four months you had up to eight inches of rain daily.

9.  How long was the Vietnam War?

       A.  20 years, the longest war in United States history, 1955-1975.

10.  Why was the U.S. fighting in Vietnam called a conflict?

       A.  Because Congress never voted to officially declare it a war.

11.  What were some of the countries whose soldiers fought alongside the U.S. troops?

       A.  South Vietnam, Australia and the Republic of South Korea.

12.  How many Americans died in the war?

       A. 58,226 including 8 WOMEN.

13.  What was the age of the American soldiers?

       A.  Average around 19, but some as young as 17.

14.  What were some of the animals and insects in Vietnam?

       A.  Tigers, wart hogs, water buffalos, snakes, rats, leeches, spiders, fire ants, tarantulas and mosquitoes.

15.  Did all the soldiers come home from the Vietnam War?

       A.  NO! There are still 2,000 P.O.W. (Prisoners of War) - M.I.A.'s (Missing In Action) who have still NOT come home from the Vietnam War.

16.  How many American Soldiers were wounded in the war?

       A.  Approximately 256,000.

17.  What was the Domino Principle?

       A.  That if South Vietnam fell to the North Vietnamese Communists all of the other countries in Southeast Asia would eventually become communist.

18.  What is Agent Orange?

       A.  A herbicide that was sprayed to defoliate land areas in Vietnam.

19.  Did you go to Vietnam with the friends you made in the service?

       A.  In most cases instead of going over in a unit move, we went there as individual soldiers and were assigned to different units when we arrived in country.

20.  What was it like coming home?

       A.  When you left Vietnam at the end of your tour of duty, you were sent home on a 2 or 4 week leave. Or if your time was up in the military, you were discharged out.  It was very strange being in the jungle one day and the next on your parents porch back home as either a civilian or home on leave.

21.  What was the draft system?

       A.  If you were a male, when you turned 18 years old, you would register the draft by mail or by going to your local draft board. This would allow the government to have easy access to ready information on you in the event you would have to be called up to serve in the military.

22. How were you classified in the draft system?

       A.  When you received your draft card, there was a number and or a letter classification on it. This was governed by your physical condition, educational status (student, or not), family situation (single, married, sole provider, or survivor, etc.), and employment status (critical job, etc.).

23.  What happened if you were drafted?

       A.  You would serve two years in the military, 99% of the draftees served in the Army, but there was a very small percentage drafted in the Marines.

24.  What if you enlisted?

       A.  You would join the branch of service of your choosing, provided they had openings and they would accept you. But you would have to sign up and serve a minimum of three or four years.

25.  Once in the military did you get to choose the job you wanted?

       A.  In almost all cases the military would choose your job assignment for you.

26.  Were stationed at a Post near your home?

       A.  Most likely not. The military would send you where they wanted, whenever they wanted.

27.  What is P.T.S.D. and did it affect Vietnam Veterans?

       A.  POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. Simply put, Mental and Physical severe  after-affects of the Vietnam War that many Vietnam Vets have, due to their participation in the war.

28.  Did every soldier in Vietnam do drugs and what kind?

       A.  Let's start off by saying drugs were used in Vietnam, mostly marijuana. But UNLIKE in most Hollywood Movies about the war, THE VAST MAJORITY OF SOLDIERS DID NOT USE DRUGS! Studies and surveys done by many groups have stated that LESS THAN 10% OF SOLDIERS in Vietnam were casual users.

29.  Was there prostitution in Vietnam.

       A.  Yes, there was, but because of a very poor economy, in many instances, women would do this in order to help their children or families to survive.

30.  What are Amer-Asian children?

       A. They would be the biological offspring of American men and Vietnamese women.  Thousands of American soldiers children were left behind and are still in Vietnam.


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"An organization succeeds, not because it is long-established,
but because there are people in it who live it, sleep it, dream it,
and build future plans for it."

Copyright 2002 Veterans of the Vietnam War, Inc.