Tuesday is National Vietnam War Veterans Day—the day our nation observes every year on March 29 to thank and honor our nation's Vietnam War veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice.

According to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the Vietnam War occurred from November 1, 1955, to April 30, 1975. America initially served as military advisors to South Vietnam in its defense against communist-backed North Vietnam but began its military involvement in the Vietnam War in February 1961.

More than nine million Americans served in the United States Armed Forces during the Vietnam War. Of this total, 2.7 million served in Southeast Asia, where more than 300,000 American service members were injured, and 58,318 killed in action—including 399 from New Mexico. More than 1,500 Americans are still listed as missing in action—including 12 from New Mexico. There are about six million Vietnam War-era veterans alive in America. About 600,000 are those that served in-theater.

Regardless of which side you fall on in the view of the Vietnam War, what's important to remember is this: Those who served answered the call of duty when our country came calling for military service. Southeast Asia was on the verge of being overrun by Communist forces, and America's leadership deemed it imperative to stop this spread. The dense, humid jungles of Vietnam and Southeast Asia were a kill-or-be-killed environment, one in which each of our service members were dependent on one another for survival. They served with bravery and a sense of duty for each other.

Unfortunately, we cannot erase the unwelcoming reception many of our returning service members received upon returning home from their service in the Vietnam War. Time is still healing these wounds…time has also allowed us to view our Vietnam veterans as honorable men and women who, regardless of the political firestorm back here at home, had a job to do thousands of miles from home. They were soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guard members—patriots, who swore upon enlisting or being drafted to serve to the best of their abilities. They followed orders and looked out for one another. On National Vietnam War Veterans Day, our country should always honor these brave men and women for this, and for their service for our country.

To New Mexico's Vietnam War veterans…Welcome Home.

Sonya L. Smith
Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Department of Veterans Services
Gulf War USAF Veteran

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option above this to the right, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at https://www.grantcountybeat.com/about/submissions. They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a cheaper and shorter option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to editor@grantcountybeat.com and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

It has come to this editor's attention that people are sending information to the Grant County Beat Facebook page. Please be aware that the editor does not regularly monitor the page. If you have items you want to send to the editor, please send them to editor@grantcountybeat.com. Thanks!

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised.