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    IN HARM'S WAY...
    How many REAL Vietnam vets
    are alive today?

    As of this date The American War Library estimates that approximately 610,000 Americans who served on land in Vietnam or in the air over Vietnam between 1954 and 1975 are alive today. And approximately 164,000 Americans who served at sea in Vietnam waters are alive today.

  • PLEASE NOTE: The above numbers do not include the approximate 2500-3000 US Air Force personnel who operated in Guam, Thailand or other countries far remote from combat exposure that were authorized the Vietnam Service Medal by the USAF for providing support to air crews flying over Vietnam, but themselves did not spend any amount of time in harm's way.

    Because of faulty record keeping there is no confirmed number of Americans who served in Vietnam. The best estimate that the Department of Defense can conclude is that between 2,709,918 to 3,173,845 GI's served in-country and in-waters Vietnam between 1954 and 1975 (this does not count the handful of Americans who served in Vietnam during WW2). However, veterans groups estimate that today approximately 9 to 12 million Americans fraudulently claim they served in Vietnam.

    After extensive research of various mortality indexes and sources The American War Library estimates that approximately one-third of those who did serve in Vietnam (approximately 850,000) are alive today [18 Aug 2007]. (Vietnam veterans are dying at about the same rate as their WW2 fathers.) Since 1988 The War Library has been working to verify the names of all Americans who served in Vietnam, or were authorized the Vietnam War Service Medal.

    Did you serve in Vietnam?

    Do you have a family member who served in Vietnam?

    The online research project that includes the 2,709,918 Vietnam veterans officially listed by the Department of Defense [*] is available here where veterans whose Vietnam service is indicated as confirmed or unconfirmed:



    [*] Vietnam veterans of other nations are also listed.

    Contact Person for this website:

      Roger Simpson,
         Public Information Office (
      The American War Library (
      817 East Via Carmelitos
      Virginia Building 319 Long Beach CA 90805-7549
      Phone: 1-562-422-4100 (Pacific Time Zone)

      Site Established 18 August 2007