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Oklahomans and the Vietnam War


Agent Orange: A chemical used against North Vietnam to destroy forests and crops, which caused major medical damage to those who were exposed to it.

base: A military headquarters were people slept and conducted business.

booby traps: A form of deception in which an object or area looks harmless yet is used to attack an enemy.

cadet: A lower-ranking member of the military.

call sign: A way of identifying oneself in the military.

Cambodia: A country in southeastern Asia that borders Vietnam.

civilians: A person who is not a member of the military.

communism: A form of government where there is no private property. The state owns economic resources and divides goods and wealth among the population.

Cold War: An arms race from 1945 to 1990 between the Soviet Union and United States. Each side gathered arms and sent threats of war to the other side, yet no conflict was fought.

Ngo Dinh Diem: Elected president of South Vietnam after the split of the country. Assassinated in 1963.

delegates: A person elected to represent a country and/or an organization.

demonstration: An event or protest in which people gather together to show that they support or oppose something.

draft: A mandatory form of recruitment for military service.

Gerald Ford: US president from late 1974 to 1977, after President Nixon resigned.

The Geneva Accords: An agreement between France and Vietnam (with representatives from other powerful countries), which ended France's control over Vietnam and split the country at the seventeenth parallel.

guerrilla warfare: Actions by a small group of non-military fighters.

Gulf of Tonkin Incident: Two North Vietnam torpedoes attacked two US destroyers in 1964.

Gulf of Tonkin Resolution: Orders for the American military to take all necessary measures against the enemy.

huey helicopter: Bell UH-1 helicopter commonly used in Vietnam.

Lyndon B. Johnson: US president after the assassination of John F. Kennedy from 1963 to 1969.

John F. Kennedy: US president from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.

Ho Chi Minh: Leader of Communist North Vietnam from 1945 to 1969.

mortar: A popular weapon used by both guerrillas and military forces; a type of bomb that is shot at short range.

napalm: A mixture used with firebombs that causes fire to burn slowly and to cause more damage.

National Liberation Front: A communist organization established in 1960 to unite Vietnam under their control.

Richard Nixon: US President from 1969 to 1974 until he resigned from office.

Operation Linebacker II: The heavy bombing of North Vietnam (ordered by Nixon) until an agreement was reached.

Operation Rolling Thunder: The constant bombing of North Vietnam

pardon: A power given to the US president which allows him to forgive a federal crime a person or persons are charged with.

Paris Agreement: The ceasefire between the US and North Vietnam

The Pentagon Papers: Top secret Department of Defense reports on the Vietnam War that were made public.

psychological: To be directed toward the mind.

refugee: A person who leaves their home country from danger.

Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC): A volunteer program offered at some universities in America which provides early training to students for the military.

Saigon: The capital city of South Vietnam until the end of the Vietnam War.

The Selective Service System: The agency in the United States that is in charge of conscription.

Soviet Union: A communist ruled empire under Russian rule.

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS): A liberal activist organization formed 1960. Originally a civil rights group, SDS had many branches at different universities around the country.

Tet Offensive: A campaign of surprise attacks made by the Vietcong.

tour: A member of the military's time in war. 

veteran: A person who served in the military. 

Vietcong: The guerrilla force in North Vietnam.

War Powers Act: The president does not have the power to initiate armed conflict without approval from Congress

zippo raid: A technique used by American forces to search villages then burn them.

Main Page
The Draft
Battle in Vietnam
The Antiwar Movement
Support and Protest at home
Veterans return home