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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Today is North Dakota's Viet Nam Veterans Day, 3-29

Senate Bill 2192, which passed the 61st Legislative Assembly in 2009, was introduced by myself and Sen. Robert Horn to designate March 29 as North Dakota Vietnam Veterans Day, because our last soldiers were removed from Vietnam on March 29, 1975.

It’s in honor and remembrance of surviving and departed Vietnam veterans, including the 198 Vietnam veterans from North Dakota whose names are listed on the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Wall in Washington and those veterans who are or were missing in action or prisoners of war.
Some facts from the Vietnam-era conflict:

• 91 percent of Vietnam veterans say they are glad they served.
• 74 percent of Vietnam veterans said they would serve again, even knowing the results.
• Five Americans killed in Vietnam were only 16 years of age.
• The oldest American killed in Vietnam was 62 years of age.
• One out of every 10 Americans who served was a casualty.
• 75,000 Vietnam veterans were severely disabled.
• Vietnam veterans were the best educated forces our nation has ever sent to combat.
•79 percent had a high school education or better.
• 87 percent of Americans hold Vietnam veterans in high esteem.
• There were a total of 151 Medal of Honor recipients.
• There were eight U.S. females killed in Vietnam.
• Following the Paris Peace Accords of 1973, 591 American prisoners of war were returned during Operation Homecoming
There were 2.59 million American veterans who served in country during the Vietnam War. I want to ask everyone to take a moment of silence to remember the 58,282 Vietnam veterans killed in action, especially the 198 from North Dakota, and the more than 2,646 Americans who remain unaccounted for from the conflict.

The United States listed about 1,350 Americans as prisoners of war or missing in action and roughly 1,200 Americans were reported killed in action and “body not recovered.”

The National League of Families created the Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Flag in 1971, when the war was still in progress.

I want to thank our Vietnam veterans for serving the United States of America and I want to will all Vietnam veteran brothers and sisters a welcome home, which we never received.

Thank you. God bless America, God bless the great state of North Dakota and God bless all of our veterans who served.

Editor's Note: As a Viet Nam Veteran (Phu Bai in 70-71) I thank the Senator for doing this for his state. Maybe we will get one some day in Texas.

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