The Paris Peace Accords
United States involvement in Vietnam would come to an end on 27 January 1973. Officially titled the Agreement on Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet Nam the peace treaty ended US involvement and presence. The treaty included the governments of the USA, North and South Vietnam, and the Provisional Revolutionary Government (this represented revolutionaries in South Vietnam).
- US involvement in Vietnam began with support of the French, during their war efforts.
- The conflict spanned 3 US Presidents terms, Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.
- Adjusted for inflation, over 1 Trillion US dollars were spent between aid and war costs.
- 58,220 US service members were killed and 150,000 were wounded (21,000 of those permanently disabled).
American involvement in Vietnam spanned almost 20 years, beginning in 1955 with US support for the South Vietnamese. Support was given financially and with military advisors. Initially US military support was strictly advisory and President Kennedy made a effort to limit the majority of forces to elements similar to the newly created US Army Green Berets.
As time drew on US involvement escalated. Upon President Johnson assuming leadership of the USA after President Kennedys assassination, war was the focus, not just support. Communism was the enemy and Vietnam became a proxy battle ground for the West and East.
The American ground war would begin on 8 March 1965 and would last until the final troops were withdrawn upon the signing of the Paris Peace Accords.
The war was a hotly contested issue in the USA. Disapproval continuously grew throughout the years, the military changed course and tactics many times and the cost grew every day. By the end, service members and veterans were treated poorly by the public and government.
The cost of the war was great, both in lives, cost and what it was to be an American. When adjusted for inflation, over a trillion US dollars were spent on the Vietnam war between aid and military costs. The US military was a mess, PTSD was widespread, drug use and homelessness was synonymous with being a veteran.
58,220 US service members were killed and 150,000 were wounded (21,000 of those permanently disabled).
This war may have been widely disapproved, costly and fought without a clear winner or loser but American lives were lost and thousands upon thousands lives were changed forever. I encourage you to take the time the learn more about this conflict and if you know a veteran from this time, thank them because they certainly did not get that back then.