1. Vietnam is a small country in Southeast Asia. The Vietnam War was the longest war in which the United States took part. The Vietnam War began in 1957 and ended in 1975.
2. Vietnam was separated into North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was communist, and they wanted to end U.S. support of South Vietnam. North Vietnam wanted to combine the two parts into one country.
3. The United States and the South Vietnamese army tried to stop this from happening.
4. From 1957 to 1965, the war was mainly a struggle between the South Vietnamese army and Communist-trained South Vietnamese rebels known as the Viet Cong. The U.S. provided military advisors.
5. The first U.S. troops entered Vietnam in March 1965. Until 1969, North Vietnam and the United States did most of the fighting. By 1969, the Vietnam War seemed endless, and the United States slowly began to withdraw troops.
6. In January 1973, a cease-fire was arranged. The last U.S. ground troops left Vietnam two months later. Despite the treaty, fighting between North and South Vietnam resumed soon afterward, but U.S. troops did not return.
7. The war officially ended on April 30, 1975, when South Vietnam surrendered to North Vietnam.
8. The Vietnam War was very unpopular in the United States. Many people demonstrated their displeasure with the war.
9. Unfortunately and unfairly, the people who were treated badly when they returned to the United States were the soldiers who had risked their lives to do the fighting.
10. The United States suffered 58,151 deaths during the conflict between 1964 and 1973. There were 153,303 soldiers wounded, and there are over 2,400 soldiers still missing.