Veterans Day 2017: Honoring Veterans by Era of Service
Today, Veterans Day 2017, our nation expresses its gratitude and sincere reverence for the best men and women among us: America’s veterans. From the deserts of the Middle East and the jungles of Southeast Asia, to the remotest corners of the the high-seas, America’s veterans have demonstrated what truly makes our nation great.
There are over 18.5 million veterans in the United States, and as citizens, we should be aware of just how many of these heroes walk among us. We’ve compiled a list of the number of living veterans in the United States from every war era since WWII. It’s important to note that many veterans have served in multiple eras. These numbers represent the estimated living veterans by era, courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.
War on Terror
There are an estimated 3.3 million veterans who have served in America’s War on Terror, including the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and anti-terror operations across the globe. This segment of American veterans continues to grow, and although the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have slipped from the headlines, there are still thousands of troops in harm’s way protecting our nation and the innocent civilians of the war-torn Middle East. Thank you War on Terror veterans!
Gulf War and 1990’s Operations
The Gulf War demonstrated true American resolve and leadership in the world. The international coalition of nations led by the United States achieved overwhelming victory and exhibited extreme bravery in Kuwait against dictatorship and evil. Today, there are over 3.7 million million veterans from the Gulf War era and other 1990’s global conflicts. Thank you Gulf War veterans!
War in Vietnam
Vietnam was truly one of the most horrific wars our nation’s veterans endured and there are currently 6.6 million Vietnam veterans living among us today. Thousands of young men answered their nation’s call to service, experiencing some of the most brutal and unspeakable scenes in the history of warfare. Unfortunately, these veterans came home to a nation that in large part did not appreciate their service. Today, America continues to amend its past mistake of not supporting Vietnam veterans when they returned home from battle. Thank you Vietnam veterans for your bravery and service!
There are 1.6 million veterans of the Korean War still living. Korea demonstrated America’s commitment to defending free society against the forces of communism and extreme societal oppression. Having occurred in between WWII and the Vietnam War, Americans are not as familiar with the true horror and carnage these veterans endured on the Korean Peninsula. Thank you Korean War veterans for your heroic service to America and freedom around the world!
World War II
Finally, we acknowledge the Greatest Generation. From the beaches of Normandy, to the the deserts of Africa and across the world in the remote Southeast Pacific, America’s WWII veterans truly saved the world. They defeated Nazism and imperialism and liberated countless innocent victims of the Nazi concentration camps.
There are only 768,000 of these heroes living among us today, a number that is rapidly decreasing each and every day. As Americans, we should go out of our way to honor these veterans while they are still with us. Thank you WWII veterans! Thank you.
This Veterans Day, the Veterans Action Network renews its dedication to standing up for America’s veterans in the national political process. We are mobilizing veterans across the country to get active and engage in the political process and fight for the issues most important to them. With the support of our 28,000 grassroots members, we are working hard to fulfill that mission every day. We encourage you to join us in the fight for veterans rights!