The Armed Forces History Museum in Largo, FL has a section of the museum dedicated to the Vietnam War. The dioramas include the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the Vietnam Firebase. Memorabilia from this era are also on display in the Vietnam War area of the museum.
A Look at the Vietnam War
The Vietnam War took place during the Cold War era, begining in November of 1955. The two opposing sides consisted of the communist Allies who supported North Vietnam and the United States, along with other countries who were against communists and supported South Vietnam.
The United States became involved in the war in an effort to ward off a communistic overthrow of South Vietnam. U.S. involvement during the war escalated in the early 60s. The first combat units were deployed in 1965 within a year of the North Vietnamese firing on two U.S. naval ships located in international waters. The United States relied highly on their air superiority and immense amount of available firepower when conducting their search and destroy missions in Vietnam. These missions not only involved ground forces, but also heavy artillery and airstrikes.
Great controversy surrounded the Vietnam War and the United States’ involvement in it. Many U.S. citizens were in opposition of this conflict, feeling there was no way to win. Other controversy has since focused on the widespread use of chemicals. Their use was implemented to defoliate large areas of the countryside to expose otherwise, well hidden enemy camps. No one knew the long term implications to applying the chemicals, which to this day, contribute to an ever changing landscape and is at the base of many of the diseases and birth defects being experienced by those who were exposed to them.
The Vietnam War came on an end on April 30, 1975, but not before a high number of casualties were inflicted on both sides. The United States troops lost over 58,000 soldiers during the Vietnam War with an additional estimate of 1,700 still MIA. In all, anti-communist forces lost over 315,000 military and over 2 million South civilians. The Communist forces suffered over one million losses and also an estimated 2 million civilians. To this day, the Vietnam War serves as a reminder for the United States in what “not-to-do” when engaging in foreign conflicts.