This series of trails connected Viet Cong guerillas in the South with supplies from the North.
Napalm, or jellied gasoline, was used as a defoliant and could be dropped in bombs…
… or sprayed from riverboats. The goal was to expose VC hiding places.
Troops were often deployed via helicopters given the jungle terrain.
Troops would be deployed on patrol through rice paddies besides being in more heavily vegetated areas.
These young Marines are on patrol south of Da Nang.
Burning a suspected VC headquarters after a search-and-destroy mission.
A protest on the National Mall in 1967.
Quang Duc, a Buddhist monk, burns himself to death on a Saigon street June 11, 1963 to protest alleged persecution of Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government. (AP Photo/Malcolm Browne)
Meanwhile, on the home front, support for the war– and for the draft– waned, and protests started increasing by 1967 as Johnson’s policies as guided by Defense Secretary McNamara escalated the American presence in the fighting.
A poster advising young people on ways to resist the war effort.
Burning a draft card– of course, you could still be drafted.
A popular folksong at the time asked: Where have all the flowers gone? They’ve been shoved into rifle barrels, of course.
Our soldiers paid a very heavy price physically as well as mentally.
A napalm strike erupts in a fireball near U.S. troops on patrol in South Vietnam, 1966 during the Vietnam War. (AP Photo)
Evacuating a wounded comrade.
in 1970, the Pentagon Papers rocked the nation’s faith in how honest the government was about the war.
And then news of the My Lai incident hit the papers in 1970, as well, and protests grew even more pronounced.
Children burned by napalm dropped by the Vietnamese Air Force. This photograph won many awards and became iconic. The young girl, Kim Phuc, survived and is an activist to this day.
For more information about Kim Phuc, go to this post, which has a link.
Protesters at Kent State University in Ohio on May 4, 1970, are tear-gassed…
… and then “Four Dead in Ohio” as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sang after the National Guard opens fire. Nine other students were wounded– one paralyzed.
Henry Kissinger and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Le Duc Tho meet to attempt peace talks in 1972.
Released prisoner of war Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm is greeted by his family at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif., as he returns home from the Vietnam War, March 17, 1973.
After the Paris Peace Talks were concluded in 1973, POWs were released by the North Vietnamese. Here is a link to a news article of how Lt. Col. Stirm’s family was changed after this famous photo.
The picture above is famous, and the picture below includes someone famous now.
John McCain is welcomed home by President Nixon.
During the fall of Saigon in 1975, desperate Vietnamese try to get on one of the last helicopters leaving the US embassy.
Some of us wore bracelets with the names of POWs and MIAs during the war. I had one as a child, (but not this one). I seem to recall that if the person on your bracelet was recovered their bracelet could be sent to them so that they would know that people had been thinking of them.
One program encouraged people to wear bracelets with the names of missing or captured troops on them– kind of like those elastic armbands for causes today, but more personal.
But not everyone came home. There are still MIAs from the Vietnam War, and remains of missing servicemen are sometimes located and returned even today.