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Frequently asked questions...

The Vietnam War was a protracted conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam and its allies in South Vietnam, known as the Viet Cong, against the government of South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. So many questions about the Vietnam conflict exists. These are but a sampling for consideration.

Why build a local Vietnam veterans' memorial?

At least 220 Tarrant County residents died as a result of the conflict in Vietnam.  Currently, there’s no local monument to honor those killed in Southeast Asia.​ A permanent display in Fort Worth’s Veterans Memorial Park on Camp Bowie Blvd. designed by a local student, will honor American service members for their sacrifices, as well as commemorate the loss to the families and loved ones.

Was the Vietnam War technically a war?

The U.S. Constitution grants Congress sole authority to issue declarations of war. Since 1941 Congress has declared war only six times, all during World War II. Congress authorized troop deployment in Vietnam, but, because it did not issue a declaration of war on North Vietnam or the Viet Cong, the Vietnam War is, technically speaking, not considered a war in the United States.

How did Westmoreland influence the war’s outcome?

As head of U.S. forces in Vietnam, Gen. William Westmoreland pursued a war of attrition: the number of dead enemy fighters was the key measure of merit. In response to Westmoreland’s requests for more forces, the American presence in Vietnam grew to well over 500,000 troops. Domestic support for the war plunged as U.S. deaths rose.

Did President Nixon support the Vietnam War?

Richard Nixonarguably, tried to prolong the Vietnam War during the 1968 presidential campaign in an effort to win the presidency. Once he became president, he sought to establish enough stability in the region for the South Vietnamese government to take over. The result was an expanded U.S. military presence and increased military activity in neutral Cambodia. After hasty attempts of “Vietnamization”—the process of training and arming South Vietnamese troops for fighting alone after U.S. forces would pull out—all U.S. troops were evacuated by March 29, 1973.

What is Agent Orange?

Agent Orange is a mixture of herbicides used during the Vietnam War by the U.S. military to defoliate forests and clear other vegetation. This herbicide mix was deployed in urban, agricultural, and forested areas in Vietnam to expose the enemy and destroy crops. Agent Orange was used along with several other herbicides, code-named Agents White, Purple, Blue, Pink, and Green.

How many people died in the Vietnam War?

There were 1.4 million casualties during the Vietnam War. This number accounts for casualties on both sides of the conflict. Over 2 million soldiers of both sides were wounded in the war but not killed.


The United States deployed over 2.5 million soldiers to the Vietnam War and lost 58,220 of those soldiers. An additional 303,644 American soldiers were wounded during the war. The number of soldiers under 20 years old who were killed in action is 11,465. There were over 4 million civilian casualties on both sides during the war. Despite these figures, 74 percent of veterans say they would have served in the war again.

Other countries also suffered casualties in the Vietnam War:  New Zealand lost about three dozen soldiers, Australia lost more than 500 soldiers and South Korea lost 3,000 troops in the war.

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