Definition of a Vietnam Era Veteran

Legal meanings as well as determining access to Veterans benefits


By Bob Hanafin, Staff Writer

A “Vietnam Era” Veteran is defined as any Veteran who served during the official time frame of the Vietnam War anywhere in the world as defined by Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

I would assume that even National Guard members who have achieved official Veterans status as defined by the VA would be considered Vietnam Era Veterans.

I’m basically familiar with this, because most of the VA benefits I applied for and got when I served during the war were because I was a Vietnam Era Vet. However, I know that Congress passed a law in 1996 just after I retired from the Pentagon that changed the definition as it applied to those who served in-country Vietnam proper, and those Veterans who served elsewhere. The time frames are different.

Those who served in-country Vietnam have a longer period of time in which they qualify to be a Vietnam Era Veteran (from 1961 to 1975) while those who did not serve in-country havOfficial Definition of a Vietnam Era Veteran – Google Searche a shorter timeframe in which they can be considered Vietnam Era Veterans (from 1964 to 1975).

The Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 1996, Public Law (P.L.) 104-275, Section 505, enacted October 9, 1996. REFERENCES: Title 38, U.S.C., Chapter 1, Section 101 (29) and Chapters 41 & 42, Sections 4101, 4211 and 4212.

BACKGROUND: P.L. 104-275 incorporates provisions from a multitude of different bills resulting from compromise agreements between the United States House of Representatives and Senate. This letter amends the definition of the Vietnam era for certain veterans.

Section 505 states:

(a) In General — Paragraph (29) of section 101 (of Title 38) is amended to read as follows:

(29) The term `Vietnam era’ means the following:

(A) The period beginning on February 28, 1961, and ending on May 7, 1975, in the case of a veteran who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period.

(B) The period beginning on August 5, 1964, and ending on May 7, 1975, in all other cases.”

The definition also has legal meanings as well as determining access to Veterans benefits. Even the Department of Labor has an official, legal definition of Vietnam Era Veteran that goes something like this:

There may be quite a few Veterans out there who served between 1961 and 1964 who were once not considered Vietnam Era Veterans who are NOW. They of course had to serve within the Republic of Vietnam.

Not sure quite how this impacts the Blue Water Navy of Air Force Units that were flying over Vietnam (and of course North Vietnam) but did not have bases in-country. They flew missions from Thailand, Okinawa. maybe Taiwan??? and of course off Aircraft Carriers.

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Readers are more than welcome to use the articles I've posted on Veterans Today, I've had to take a break from VT as Veterans Issues and Peace Activism Editor and staff writer due to personal medical reasons in our military family that take away too much time needed to properly express future stories or respond to readers in a timely manner.My association with VT since its founding in 2004 has been a very rewarding experience for me.Retired from both the Air Force and Civil Service. Went in the regular Army at 17 during Vietnam (1968), stayed in the Army Reserve to complete my eight year commitment in 1976. Served in Air Defense Artillery, and a Mechanized Infantry Division (4MID) at Fort Carson, Co. Used the GI Bill to go to college, worked full time at the VA, and non-scholarship Air Force 2-Year ROTC program for prior service military. Commissioned in the Air Force in 1977. Served as a Military Intelligence Officer from 1977 to 1994. Upon retirement I entered retail drugstore management training with Safeway Drugs Stores in California. Retail Sales Management was not my cup of tea, so I applied my former U.S. Civil Service status with the VA to get my foot in the door at the Justice Department, and later Department of the Navy retiring with disability from the Civil Service in 2000.I've been with Veterans Today since the site originated. I'm now on the Editorial Board. I was also on the Editorial Board of Our Troops News Ladder another progressive leaning Veterans and Military Family news clearing house.I remain married for over 45 years. I am both a Vietnam Era and Gulf War Veteran. I served on Okinawa and Fort Carson, Colorado during Vietnam and in the Office of the Air Force Inspector General at Norton AFB, CA during Desert Storm. I retired from the Air Force in 1994 having worked on the Air Staff and Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon.


  1. I wanted to send out a big THANK YOU to Linda Stevens for her commentary on what the definition of a Vietnam War Era Veteran is. I had been pretty much in the same situation that you were. I enlisted into the US Army for the purpose of going overseas to do what ever I could to help our troops and serve my country. I remember watching at home on television the news footage from Vietnam. So when I could enlist I did so. I was still quite young so my mom had to sign for me to enlist. I went through basic training and then onto AIT for my MOS. I had specifically told my next in command that I wanted to go Vietnam. As it turned out as close as I would get to Vietnam was when I was stationed state side our company was put on alert to go to Vietnam. That lasted about 3 days and then the orders came down that we were not needed so we didn’t go. I was scared about going but yet I was disappointed when I realized that what I really wanted to do was not going to happen. Like you Linda I had always felt that made me less of a solider for not going. Even though it was out of my control. It has caused me a lot of depression and guilt over the years. But also as I have grown older I to have felt the same as you and that my service to my country was not for nothing. After reading your letter I have felt a sense of relief. Now that I know I am not the only one who has had these feelings all these years of not being a complete solider. When I came home from my “overseas” duty having been gone for 16 months I didn’t get any support from my family what so ever. All I got was a kick in the ass and was asked why I just didn’t stay in because there was nothing for me at home anymore. I didn’t stay long. Made a person feel like crap. Now today I have a family of my own and they are just starting to understand how important my military service was to me. I couldn’t have written a commentary any better myself then you did. You put together the words that I have been trying to say all these years. I feel better and I feel even more proud to tell people that I was a solider and I am a Vietnam War Era Veteran. I did not reenlist myself. I hope that someday you get to read my reply as you have given me so much more to be proud of today. I have been aware of the Cold War Medal and also think that everyone should be recognized for their service to their country. THANK YOU.

  2. What about the blue water vets that engage the enemy. Awarded the combat action ribbion. What term will be used now Vietnam era combat vet?

  3. amen brother, then you die what a deal. i’m with you 100%. i hope they don’t bend over these young kids doing it now adays in iraq and afghanastan but you know they will, its the nature of the beast.

  4. I want to expand my comments just a little. Any veteran who entered the territorial waters, or air space of Viet-Nam, or served loading the planes which were deployed to Viet-Nam, or fired heavy guns inland Viet-nam is a Viet-Nam veteran and not an ERA veteran. The DVA makes the distinction to deny service connection amd can deny treatment of various illnesses because of that artifical distintion. I know that Congress and the Executive branch togather make the laws, that does not mean that a Department of the executive branch should be able to use the differance between “boots on the ground” and Blue Water, Blue Sky, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and any other place where munitions or agents used for defoiation were loaded into tanks for spraying, or otherwise handled, to deny benefits to a veteran awarded the Viet-Nam Service Medal. It Makes no sence that a Department can use a definition intended to assure benefits to those veterans who served and were awarded the appropriate medal.

  5. i was a crew chief on f4 phantoms at ubon thailand during linebacker 1 and linebacker 2 and am highly pissed by comments made by ex marines who work for the va namely saying such bullshit as the vc were not doing sapper and mortar attacks in thailand and that the air force didn’t see combatand other bullshit like the air force doesn’t do shit.and he was in tet an ought to know. this guy assessed me with ptsd but can’t understand how i got it cause the air force doesn’t see combat. well i guess a marine air wing don’t see combat either. and i guess no one but marines did anything in the vietnam war to. kiss my ass.

  6. I served in the US Army Nurse Corps from 1968-1971. I was stationed at Brooke Medical Center and Fitzsimons Medical Center. Like all women of all wars, I volunteered. I volunteered with the sole purpose of serving in Vietnam. I was finally assigned to the 41st Combat Support Hospital. Unfortunately, They had just returned from Vietnam and I was discharged before they could be deployed again. So I never served in country. But during the time period that was the Vietnam War Era, millions of us served our country in all capacities. Only a fraction of the men and women who served, actually served in country. For years I felt less a soldier because I never served in country. As I have gotten older, my military service has become more and more important to me. As a Vietnam Era Veteran, I feel that the millions of us that stood ready to serve and fight if needed, volunteerily and without reservation, have been neglected and our importance overlooked. Everyday, I see on TV one member of the current military after the other, standing with medals and awards up to their ear lobes. I began to wonder, where did all those damned medals come from? How were they earned? So I began to do some research. I soon discovered that from 1960-1980 there were very few medals or awards available to be awarded to those that didn’t make it to Vietnam. I soon realized that after 1980, there were medals made available for everything from joining up to taking a crap (only kidding). Some of these Generals you see are literally covered with medals that were given to them because just because they were on active duty at given time period. Few of these medals were given for valor. I absolutely take nothing away from those who have served in combat. As a matter of fact, I honor them greatly. This is why I reenlisted at the time of the first Gulf War. But, I firmly believe that all those that served should be honored for standing at the ready to join their fellows in combat if needed. That is why I am so dedicated to having the Congress pass a resolution that honors all of us that served during “the Cold War” by awarding to all that served, the “Cold War Service Medal”. I encourage all those that have served to contact their Senators and Congressman to support the autorization of the medal. I am the direct decendant of veterans of the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Spanish American War, WWI, WWII and Korea. I grew up believing that it was my duty to serve my country. Can we not show all those that served over the time of the Cold War that they are respected and honored?

  7. It’s this simple. The military made no distinction on what you would be doing or where you would be sent when they mailed you that draft notice. Greetings my ass.

    For those who volunteered for duty when they did not have to, I salute you as should all vets.

    Some gave all and all gave some never rang so true.

  8. Lucas,

    Sounds like an IT problem to me Lucas.

    Sometimes I wish we had control over what people put in their comments, but unlike most other sites, WE don’t have or even know how to use an option to prevent anyone from posting.

    That is unless you’ve gone out of your way to have your IP banned from posting, which is a perogative of any websire.

    Frankly, I’ve been posting on this site since we began the site several years ago.

    Just type in hanafin in our search engine and you’ll see how many articles I’ve posted.

    That said, I’m constantly on the General Manager or IT staff (admin) about how user unfriendly our site can be even for editors and writers let alone folks who wish to comment or write articles themselves.

    Before going away disgusted even if you do not agree with what’s been written or whatever.

    I’d suggest you give our General Manager an email telling him how well user unfriendly you think our site is.

    His name is John Allan and his email addy is: [email protected]

    Can relate to your frustration, but I got use to it.

    I’m a volunteer editor for VT, not an IT expert, so I have no choice.

    Bobby Hanafin

  9. "He is a Vietnam Era Veteran and that is the true distinction not what the people in Congress decided. It may be law but it is BULL of the deepest order."

    Brother Blair,

    I’m count myself among those Vietnam Era Veterans who strongly believe you are right about how the Blue Water Navy is treated. By the same token Air Force units (pilots and chemical canister loaders) that not only flew agent orange and related missions but any missions over Vietnam or North Vietnam to be more appropriate may not be considred in-country Vietnam Vets because they never set foot in Vietnam unless shot down.

    I personlly do not agree with this view against the Blue Water Navy or Air Force personnel who flew missions over Nam out of Okinawa, Thailand or where ever.

    You are obviously referring to how your status was determined defines if you were exposed to Agent Orange or not. That’s a hard nut to crack, but I’m more than open minded on it, however I’m not a member of Congress and there is where you and I differ, Sir to your determent not mine.

    Unless there was a typo of miss spelling, you said, "He is a Vietnam Era Veteran and that is the true distinction not what the people in Congress decided. It may be law but it is BULL of the deepest order."

    You need to be clear on who makes the laws of our nation regardless if we agree with the laws or not.

    With neither you or I being a lawyer our chances of running for Congress are nil and void.

    That said, having worked for the Department of Justice, Department of Defense, and the Veterans Administration before it became a Department, I understand enough about Immigration Law, Veterans laws, and federal laws in general to basically understand that Congress makes immigration, Veterans, and most other laws of the land regardless what WE call them.

    Please explain to our readers just how most members of Congress who just happen to not be Veteans DO NOT have a role to play in defining what a Vietnam Era or anyother Era Veteran is or hell what we as Veterans are.

    If Congress really wanted to, they could make and pass a law that would make every National Guard member who served during Vietnam (putting down civil rights upheavals and anti-war protests) Veterans, but they are not going to. (wink).

    Bobby Hanafin
    The Mustang Major

  10. "So since I served 18 months, 22 days on Okinawa in the U.S. Army Artillery in 1966/1968 am I just a veteran or a Vietnam Veteran?"

    You would be considered a Vietnam Era Veteran for sake of access to Vietnam Era VA Benefits, BTW, not sure what the cutoff date is, but I do remember that the government manages to throw in a cut off date when you have to use or lose your benefits.

    Check with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    "I also wasn’t treated very nice when I got home.CZ82"

    James, got a question related to not being treated very nice when we came home.

    As I mentioned, we at Fort Carson circa 1972 to 1975 really had no beef with anyone in the anti-war movement in Colorado Springs or Manatou Springs where most of us, especially NCOs lived.

    However, that does not mean I was treated very nice either when I came home.

    Example: Before being recruited to Vietnamize the VA system (the VA was hiring Vietnam Veterans in an attempt to make it more Vietnam Vet friendly),  I applied for and got a job with the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P food stores in Baltimore, MD).

    However, when I went to apply for the job loading and unloading charcoal on railroad cars, the Personnel puke treated me like crap, and he was not in the anti-war movement!!!

    I proudly handed him my DD-214 showing I honorably served in the Army, even had a National Defense Service Medal, and spent nuff time in Nam to earn recongition of that on my discharge papers.

    Then my bubble burst – he looks at me with the Dick Chaney shit eating grin on his face and say to me, "That (DD-214) and a dime will get you a cup of coffee put it away you don’t need it."

    I almost believed him (wink).

    That said, Terry, despite being spit on, and I consider what this young kid climbing the corporate ladder did to me as being spit on, I still decided to return to the All Volunteer Military.

    Terry, what made you decide to get out of the military and stay out???

    Was it because of the way you were treated or you just did not want to have anything more to do with the military?

    Or did you also stay in or return to military service?

    Just curious.

    I’m going to begin asking that question of Vets who so storngly support us, and be a half decent cheering section but deciced not to make the service a career???

    Seriously, I really want to know.

    That said, it’s not to single anyone out for not wanting to be a Lifer. Heavens no, most of our admin staff here at VT are not Veterans.

    Bobby Hanafin
    The Mustang Major

  11. Dennis,

    You evidently may fall in the same classification (because I don’t know whatelse to call  it) as me.

    A Vietnam Era and Gulf War Era Veteran.

    I also served in the Army, Air Force, and as a civilian in the Navy, so I have to say Amen to this:

    "Damn forgot to work with the Jarheads, oh well, the Navy will have to do."

    Frankly, as we can see by the debate being waged here, I had to tend to lean toward the group who advocate a Vet is a Vet is a Vet, except that is not reality.

    That said, think about it. Who makes the rules that determine these classification which of course are tied to the kind of Veteran and even Military Retiree benefits and rights we’ve EARNED?

    You got it over 200 plus people in Congress give or take a few hundred Senators who never wore nor intended to wear a uniform. People who either prefer not to be or had other priorities in life otherthan being a VETERAN!

    Dennis, WE don’t make the rules that label us isn’t that FUNNY.

    The irony is also that too many of us are against THE DRAFT – go figure. We are playing in the hands of those who look down upon our service as we give them the vaseline.

    Bobby Hanafin
    The Mustang Major

  12. I as there 68 69 wounded twice just subbed to you guys site, wrote in 3 times but im gonna quit hell you never print my comments, go ahed and unsub me to.

  13. From the Blue Water Navy, IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERANCE. As a Navy veteran I am denied presumptive service connection for my brain tumor, thyroid tumors, adrenal tumors, prostrate cancer, diabetes militis type II, kidney failure, peripheral neuropathy, three heart attacks, and two strokes. If I was considered a Vietnam Veteran, which I am, I would be covered when each thing is covered as a presumptive disease, without that distinction, my three Vietnam Service Medals mean very little. My brother in law who served in Germany is considered the equal of any Blue Water Navy veteran evan though we were in combat and he was not. He is a VietnamEra Veteran and that is the true distinction not what the people in Congress decided. It may be law but it is BULL of the deepest order.

  14. So since I served 18 months, 22 days on Okinawa in the U.S. Army Artillery in 1966/1968 am I just a veteran or a Vietnam Veteran? I also wasn’t treated very nice when I got home.CZ82

  15. I’m not certain how the writers on this website decide what to write about each day, but I am sure that a lot of time and effort go into it. My hat is off to Bobby Hanifin and the rest of you who try to bring the latest news to us. Some of what I read here can bring forth some very strong emotions at times, and quite often I regret making any comment at all in regards to the article. For one thing my memory of certain historical facts is cloudy at best. There are those at VT much more knowledgeable than I. There is a lot of history involved in my feelings about this” Vietnam”, and “Vietnam Era” characterization of veterans. The Vietnam War is the only one that I know of that makes this distinction. There were a lot of us that were not combat Veterans that stood by the combat Veterans through an awful time in history. When they called you names and spit at you, we were the first ones to come to your defense. You can believe that or not. Any article that suggests a separation between the Veterans can be hurtful to some of us. That being said, I guess probably most don’t take this thing so seriously. My apologies to anyone I might have offended here.

  16. "Well, I am 59 and some say I was a pussy because I joined the Air Force."

          Some say huh? Well you know what they say about some say, and opinions – everyone has one.

           Well, I was 17 when I was persuaded to JOIN THE ARMY, but when my eight year commitment was up, I join the Air Force as an occifer.

          Frankly, I assume I’m like you, we will worry about what ‘some say’ all the way to the bank or credit union. Can’t and won’t speak for you, but when I left the Army to join the Air Force, I didn’t consider myself or anyone else a woose, I considered us BRIGHTER.

         Having lived in both worlds, and worked as a civilian for the Navy, I can honestly say the only service I cannot relate to is the Marines. That said, I still consider both the Navy and Air Force the brighter of all services.

         It is not by accident that both the Air Force and Navy are not hiring nor are USAF or Navy recruiters getting PTSD because they can’t make quota.

         Did you note that when the GWOT began (or more appropriately the Invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq) there was a program called "Blue to Green," not Green to Blue, in fact I don’t believe there ever was or will be a Green to Blue military recruitment campaign.

         Meaning, when these kinds of wars broke out, not only were the Air Force and Navy adequately manned, but both service (moreso the Air Force) were going through a drawdown even as the Army and Marines were just beginning to be stretched thinner. Airmen and to a lessor degree Sailor being forced out were given an option of JOINING THE ARMY.

         I don’t believe the Marines had such a deal (laugh).

          If I had to make the same brilliant decision I made in 1977 to switch services from the Army to Air Force TODAY, I’d do so in the heart beat, but there’s no way I’d reenlist in either the Army or join the Marines even if I fit in. Not out of lack of respect for those service, heavens no. I would not join the ground forces for it would be a dumb decision to do so knowling full well the other services do not YET have a mission, have limited role to play in unconventional ground wars. What turns me off about the ground forces is that they continue to be used, abused, and stretched even thinner than when the war(s) started then turn around and give civilians in our government who make decisions about who lives or dies the vaseline. GO FIGURE.

          No way in the world I’d risk getting wasted for G.W. Bush or Barrack Obama. Just ain’t gonna happen. I’d be willing to die for something I believed in like a no shit threat to my nation or neighborhood.

          Anyway, that’s my long winded way of saying I’m not among those some who say you are a pussy for joining the Air Force, I’d say you are pretty SMART!!!!


  17. "Brother you need to take a couple of advils and chill out. You take what I said all wrong."

          You know DA, ya might be a bit right Bro, maybe I did overreact a bit about something I basically agree with you about.

          Frankly, this post was not my idea as such. Someone on VT staff asked me to find a legal definition of what a Vietnam Era Veteran was, so I did that’s all.

          I realize how you and I fit in that definition, can’t speak for you, but I really don’t give a crap, so why even tap dance on your head over it.

          Thanks for your service, and what Welcome Home is this for you now? How many?

    Bobby Hanafin
    The Mustang Major


  19. I think some are trying to suggest that benefits for war era veterans and or their widows being eligible for "pensions"  and peacetime veterans who are not eligible for "pensions"  other than that I can not see what other benefits there are. Yes, the VA screws over retirees that are not SC for any medical problems because most are Category 8 and make to much money to qualify for VA care  that is why some congressmen are  trying to get  Medicare eligible veterans into the VA healthcare system and let the VA bill Medicare, myself I am not so sure that would be such a great deal for the veterans with Medicare myself, but to each their own.

    I think I have seen for every "combat mos veteran" there are 7 support soldiers required to keep the combat soldier in the field, not all of us could be Force Recon or Green Berets there is nothing wrong with bing a rifleman, a cook, a clerk, supply, medic, etc  it took us all doing  our jobs when and where we were told to do them, other than re-enlistment time I don’t ever remember getting a choice of duty assignments other than what base I wanted to go to  like Fort Lewis,  or Fort Irwin etc  but when I got there they decided which unit I went to and what my assignment was. I imagine most soldiers experienced the same type of military experience I had.

    But Congress set the difference for wartime versus peacetime benefits, Congress is where the change has to be made.

  20. Brother you need to take a couple of advils and chill out. You take what I said all wrong. There are people who have served in the military in certain time periods who are not classified as veterans by the federal government unless they came out with a service connected disability. I served in Vietnam, was wounded on Nov.8th 1968 and again on Feb. 26th 1969. I am 62 years old. I served in PBR River Division 593 as a Gunnersmate 3rd class. I worked for Tennessee Valley Authority and retired a couple of years ago. There were people who worked for TVA that could not buy their military time because they had not been in service during a declared time, such as the 61-75 time frame for Vietnam. Have a good day and if I upset your stomach, I apoligize.

  21. DA White,

    The VEVRAA was legislation created and passed by Congress if you like it or not because Vietnam Veterans en mass were being discriminated against and look down on by everyone including the VFW and American Legion.

    The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) prohibited discrimination against and required “affirmative action” for disabled veterans, as well as other categories of veterans. That’s right we Veterans were once part of an Affirmative Action category.

    Vietnam era veterans, special disabled veterans, and veterans who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge had been authorized were originally protected in employment by the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974, as amended, 38 U.S.C. 4212.

    The law originally required that employers with Federal contracts or subcontracts provide equal opportunity and affirmative action for Vietnam era veterans, special disabled veterans, and veterans who served on active duty during a war or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized.

    Meaning if a campaign, or expedition for which a campaign badge had been authorized all Veterans in either 1944 or 1984 they were still both VETERANS period.

    That said, do you really believe that a Veteran is a Veteran is a Veteran?

    If a person serves and does their job, then they should all be the same. Couldn’t agree with you more, thus no means testing of any Veteran or Military Retiree cause we are ALL THE SAME.

    DA White when you were enlisted, volunteer, were drafter, or got your commission did anyone, and I mean anyone during the process ask you how much money you made or had?

    How come anyone can ask you NOW just because you are a VETERAN now that’s bullshit.

    If we Veterans were really all the same, and we ARE NOT, there would be:

    “No co-pays for any Veteran at a VA Hospital or TRICARE contracted medical specialist for military retirees because WE are all the same. However when military retirees are screwed as Veterans what you thinks gonna happen to those of us who served but an eight year commitment? HUM?

    Justify granting veterans status to a soldier behind a typewriter in 1944 and denying a man jumping from planes in 1984. Didn’t you just say we are ALL THE SAME?

    Can you point to us documentation that anyone in the military jumping from planes in 1984 was denied Veteran’s status?

    Your making way too much out of a simple definition of a catagory of Veteran. These are categories used to determine, limit, or expand the benefits WE WHO ARE ALL THE SAME – earned.

    But maybe you are onto something here that warrants not only mentioning but paying attention to?

    Example: The samples you used to complain about how Veterans are defined (1) a soldier behind a typewriter in 1944, and (2) a man jumping from planes in 1984 who I assume you mean is also a Soldier.

    What would kinda sorta make your two examples DIFFERENT in not only how they are defined but how they are viewed as Veterans and even where the source of their benefits are funded (different sources)? It of course is not only when the two Soldiers served but for how long.

    Let’s say Veteran number 1 the company clerk in 1944 went onto make a career out of the Army (or Air Force) that took him into admin jobs during Korea and Vietnam with full retirement in 1964 or shortly thereafter. This clerk happens to be a military retiree a catagory of Veteran quite different from let’s say the Soldier jumping out of planes in 1984 decided to leave service after his eight year commitment was complete. He too is a Veteran but he is not the same as Veteran number 1 the career military man or woman.

    These basic differences define almost everything that being a Veteran really means.

    Maybe I’m wrong but I think that your beef is nothing but a Stolen Valor myth YOU bought into that defines Veterans according to B.G. Burkett. If you believe how he defined Vietnam Vets for example, go tell that to Rolling Thunder members a great many who happen to not be Veterans but POW/MIA fanatics.

    Your beef sounds more like the garbage spouted by Burkett who had a beef with Vietnam Veterans of America (excuse me Vietnam Victims of America).

    You are spouting off trash about Vietnam Veterans in general. How OLD are you, and I do mean OLD as in ancient?

    I mean no disrespect to WWII Vets who are respectful to my generation, but to those of you still having an attitude about Vietnam Vets screw YOU!

    We’ve been Welcomed Home too many times to count, but it hasn’t changed a God damn thing, youngsters are still making the same mistakes we did in allowing our government to exploit, use, and abuse us – even by the very definition of VETERANS.

    If he is a first class screwup, does not do his job, but somehow gets hurt, then he is a disabled veteran with all the perks. This screwup can get disability compensation and go to the front of the line for federal jobs. No wonder we are in such a mess.

    That is right out of the fictional account of Vietnam Veterans – Stolen Valor. DA White is that how you define all Vietnam Veterans?

  22. This is so much bull, if a person serves and does their job, then they should all be the same. How can one justify granting veterans status to a soldier behind a typewriter in 1944 and denying a man jumping from planes in 1984. If a soldier in certain eras, like the late 50’s and middle 80’s keeps his nose clean and performs exceptionally well, he is not classified as a veteran by the US government, but if he is a first class screwup, does not do his job, but somehow gets hurt, then he is a disabled veteran with all the perks. This screwup can get disability compensation and go to the front of the line for federal jobs. No wonder we are in such a mess.

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