M & W categorization Vietnam war era, service in Germany

+3 votes
My father, Dave Shannon, served during what is categorized as the Vietnam War era on the military category page, but he never self-identified as a Nam vet to my recollection. I don’t want to do a disservice to my dad, nor to those who saw a different reality on Vietnam soil. Looking for a recommendation for category to add to his profile. Should it be just US Army or Vietnam War
WikiTree profile: Dave Shannon
in Genealogy Help by Bryan Shannon G2G6 Mach 1 (12.3k points)

2 Answers

+6 votes
Best answer

To be considered a "Vietnam Veteran," one must have served in or have flown over the land and/or waters of the conflict zone.  The qualifications to qualify as a 'veteran' of any particular conflict are most usually spelled out in the criteria for the campaign medal for said conflict.

To qualify for the Vietnam Service Medal:

The Vietnam Service Medal is a military award of the United States Armed Forces established on 8 July 1965 by order of President Lyndon B. Johnson. The medal is awarded to recognize service during the Vietnam War by all members of the U.S. Armed Forces provided they meet the award requirements.

The full award criteria can be found here: Award criteria

It is entirely appropriate to mention that his service in Germany was during the Vietnam War era.  A good profile example is our very own Dorothy Barry:

  Dorothy Barry is a Military Veteran.Served in the United States Army 1968-1988 attaining enlisted rank of Master Sergeant (MSG) E-8
Served in both the Women's Army Corps and the US Army during the Vietnam War, and peace time.

If his mission was in support of the war I would mention that.  Many veterans had service in other Gulf countries but didn't fight in Iraq.  I know of one officer who treated evacuted (injured) servicemembers at a hospital in Bahrain who was awarded a medal for support of the war even though she didn't qualify as an Iraq veteran.  For her profile I would say that she served in Bahrain in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  If she was stationed there but didn't support that particular campaign I would do as Dorothy has done and say that she was in the Army stationed in Bahrain during the Iraq War.

One of the best ways you can honor his service on his profile is with the Veteran Recognition Sticker.  I don't see what unit he served in.  If you can share it we can help you to find the appropriate category and sticker details.

by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
selected by Bryan Shannon
Thank you SJ Baty for the honorable mention. I served in the 1960's and early 70's (up until I retired in 1988). I served in Thailand during the Vietnam War. Some soldiers received the Vietnam Service Medal for certain locations in Thailand along with actual "boots on the ground" in Vietnam. There was a WAC Detachment in Vietnam that many females were assigned and they got the Vietnam Service Medal.

I am a current member of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)  Association here in my county. I have met other members of the VVA who did not have "boots on ground" in Vietnam yet a few even served as President of our group.

Stating that one (male or female) served during the Vietnam War is appropriate, but can not be listed with the "Vietnam Service Medal" unless they had been in the country of Vietnam (and or some parts of Thailand). Their DD 214 lists all authorized medals of the service member.

So if that relative is still alive and has their paperwork, they need to pass it down to their children etc so it can be used as a source. To belong to the Vietnam Veterans Organization I had to submit my DD 214.

Anyway, just like our ladies who served in the Women's Army Corps etc during World War II, not all of them were in the conflict countries but their service is recognized as "serving during World War II",.but not all of them have the ribbons of the country in conflict unless they were there, just like Vietnam). Hope that helps!
+3 votes
He served during the Vietnam War, whether he served in Vietnam or not.  My husband served at the same time, although he never was in Vietnam.  People did many things that were supporting the men that served in Vietnam.
by Linda Peterson G2G6 Pilot (654k points)
I agree, but from a category perspective, the other answer seems more complete.

Thank you for your answer and your husband for his service

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