June 19th is the Armed Forces Day of the former Republic of South Vietnam.

For more than 20 years, the Vietnamese military fought under difficult situations. Military servicemen were paid low salaries, while they were fighting against the enemy who abided by none of the Geneva Convention rules concerning warfare. Their enemy used terrorism as the principal weapon along with wily propaganda schemes. Meanwhile the South Vietnamese soldiers had to act conformingly to laws and rules. 

There was an attempt to start a dog program for the Vietnamese military. It never had a chance to become effective.  The handlers were only slightly bigger than their dogs. The dogs were more expensive to feed than their own soldiers. 

By April 30, 1975, the  Vietnamese military had suffered about 230,000 KIA's, over 300,000 WIA's - among them about 150,000 were disabled including nearly 4,000 who were 100 per cent disabled. Only the MIA figures were low,  a few thousands. This was due to their efforts to bring back most of the dead to bury them in their home towns or in military cemeteries.

The heavy losses they suffered proved that they had been fighting hard for their country, not running like rabbits as described in many reports. They fell before their enemy on the battlefields as any other brave warrior. Corrupt officers did not mean they all were cowards.

At least, the RVN Armed Forces were well organized, with efficient institutions, and with a strong sense of honor, with right cause and lofty ideals. They might have not been the best, but at least better than most of the contemporary armed forces of the pro-American nations in the Third World.

The murder of thousands of civilian teachers, doctors, and other educated persons, during the Tiet offensive of 1968, showed the world what the future held for  South Vietnam. The Viet Cong & North Vietnamese army did not want survivors that knew the word freedom. Jane Fonda and the other anti-war protestors never complained about those murders.




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