Honoring Native Americans and All Who Served on Vietnam War Veterans Day
Memories fade as time passes but for many, some moments are forever present. 55 years ago, the U.S. entered the Vietnam War – marking one of the most notorious conflicts in U.S. history. Today, we recognize March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day and take a moment to honor those soldiers who fought bravely and the families who stood by them.
The Vietnam War was surrounded by controversy in the midst of the civil rights movement. However, Americans were called to serve in the war and some 2.2 million men were recruited in different capacities while 2.7 million solders served in total – including 42,000 Native Americans. Most of these soldiers showed their dedication to our country through their military service. About 58,000 did not return home and another 153,000 were wounded. Many returned with challenges that changed their lives forever.
Today, less than 850,000 Vietnam veterans remain and many of them rely on assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to treat physical injuries and psychological trauma, and obtain housing, employment and insurance. Unfortunately, accessing federal VA programs can take a long time and programs often are underfunded, leaving our veterans with insufficient resources.
Other nonprofits have stepped in to fill the gap, such as the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) charity and the Vietnam Veterans Association (VVA). PWNA also serves many veterans with nutrition, health and emergency services through its partners in reservation communities. DAV has also previously collaborated with PWNA to support our Breakfast in a Bag service for Native American Elders on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, offered through our Northern Plains Reservation Aid program.
Today, we encourage you to honor the legacy of Native American soldiers who served in Vietnam and donate to those nonprofits that directly impact veterans whose lives were forever changed in fighting for our freedom.