The 58220 is the DCAS (Defense Casualty Analysis System) number of American deaths during the Vietnam War. The actual number has changed upward slightly over the years, and currently there are 58,318 names on the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington DC. Additionally, over 150,000 US military personnel were wounded enough to require hospitalization during the conflict. Almost forgotten in the current coronavirus scene was the National Vietnam War Veterans Day on 29 March 2020.

When the Vietnam Veterans came home there was not a warm welcome. A fair percentage of them came home with problems they carry to their graves. A vast majority of them were born between 1940 and 1950. They were from every state and territory in the Union. To be sure many have done okay. I was fortunate as my MOS (military occupation specialty) code and geographical assignments were gravy compared to those who went to Vietnam.

Three whom were in Vietnam rode the same rural school bus as I did are still here. The assignments they had in the conflict dictate their lives to this day. Neither you nor I can imagine their experiences as well as those of others in the conflict. Another nearby neighbor did not make it back alive. They all were asked to go by their Country, whether right or wrong is not the issue. Remember them all at and especially those still here.