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PostDraftees in the Vietnam War (Michael Sullivan, USA, 12/22/14 6:26 pm)
The Vietnam War was not fought by an unfair share of draftees, as I believe John E implied in his response to Richard Hancock (21 December). That Vietnam was "fought by draftees" is a typical slight by anti-Vietnam War types because of the myths fostered by the media and academia that proclaimed the war took advantage of draftees and blacks. Only 38% of the total force of 2,594,000 that served within the borders of Vietnam were draftees, while 30% of the Killed in Action in Vietnam were draftees. 25% of the total US military force worldwide during the Vietnam War were draftees. In WWII, 66% of the total US force were draftees. The Vietnam War had 62% volunteers.
The Vietnam war was vastly misunderstood, misreported and misremembered. There are so many little-known facts like that in WWII, American engaged infantry troops in the Pacific saw an average of only 40 days in combat in nearly 4 years of island hopping. In Vietnam, a one-year combat infantry tour saw 240 days in combat.
JE comments: It clearly was an oversimplification to say that Vietnam was "fought by draftees." My thanks to Gen. Sullivan for the clarification. Next up: David Krieger sends a different view in a response to Miles Seeley.