The Vietnam War was a conflict of the communist government of North Vietnam and its allies, the Viet Cong, in South Vietnam versus the government of the South Vietnam government and the United States, its principal ally. The war lasted from 1954 to 1975 with the United States entering the war in 1965.
The U.S. saw a threat to national security interests with the spread of communism and was determined to end it. Protests against the escalating roles of the United States in the war began with demonstrations in 1964, and grew into a nationwide social movement. Protestors argued that entering the war to stop communist expansion was unjustifiable or an intervention into a foreign civil war. Additionally, extensive television coverage enabled people to see the violence and damage of the war, giving protestors moral ground to argue that the war was too devastating to continue keeping U.S. citizens there.
The United States totally withdrew from Vietnam on March 29,1973 and the war officially ended on April 30, 1975. The Vietnam War had been the longest war the US had fought in up to that point in history, and the most controversial. Estimated solider and civilian casualties range from 966,000 to 3.812 million. There were an estimated 58,318 U.S. soldier casualties alone. A total of 9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam era, with over 2,709,000 Americans serving in Vietnam, about 9.7% of the generation. 7,484 women served in Vietnam, 83.5% being nurses.
Today, the state with highest number of Vietnam veterans is California, with 596,130, followed by Florida with 519,224. Maine and Montana have the highest number of Vietnam veterans per 100,000 people, with 3,211 and 3,203 respectively.