"Minority Veterans." In Source Material on the Vietnam Era Veteran. Congress.
Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, 173-236. Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1974. Committee Print 26.
Part 3: Minority Veterans.
SuDoc No.: Y4.V64/4:V67/6
Vance Hartke, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, stated in the introduction
of this Committee Print that, "What is intended...is to present in this single volume of
source material a collection of diverse viewpoints which will stimulate those who read it to
learn more about our newest generation of veterans and perhaps to arrive at their own
Each article has been previously published, and is presented chronologically. The chronological
approach gives a good feel for the change in attitudes of African-Americans who returned to
American society after serving in Vietnam. Most of the authors saw the veterans as the primary
moving force behind the next phase of the civil rights struggle. However they differed over
whether veterans would return to lead the African-American community through peaceful activism
or whether they would take the combat skills they learned in Vietnam and join the militant
faction of the movement.
Veterans' law defines the "Vietnam Era" as that period "beginning August 5,
1964 and ending on such date as shall thereafter be determined by Presidential Proclamation
or concurrent resolution of Congress." Almost 7 million men and women have re-entered
civilian life as Vietnam Era veterans and in large measure we know little about them or their
attitudes. In response to a growing interest in the Vietnam Era veteran, the Committee staff
has assembled the following collection of selected articles in order to disseminate information
on this large portion of our young adult population.
The Vietnam Era veterans has often been the center of a storm of controversy and many of the
articles herein reflect this. The source material in this volume is intended to present a
representative spectrum of views concerning these veterans which have appeared in print since
the Vietnam Conflict began. Naturally, no reader will or could be expected to agree with all
the views expressed in these articles. What is intended, however, is to present in this
single volume of source material a collection of diverse viewpoints which will stimulate those
who read it to learn more about our newest generation of veterans and perhaps to arrive at
their own judgments.
In my capacity as Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, I am concerned that the
Vietnam Era veteran is too often misunderstood or ignored by our society. Hopefully through
continued Congressional action, and to a lesser extent through source material such as this
document, the Vietnam Era veteran will be more clearly perceived and thereby aided in his
readjustment to developing his full potential as an active and productive member of our
nation's civilian population.