A Vietnam Veteran is someone who served in the armed forces of participating countries during the Vietnam War.
The term has been used to describe veterans who were in the armed forces of South Vietnam,
the United States armed forces, and countries allied to them, whether or not they were actually stationed in Vietnam during their service.
Vietnam Era Veteran is an inclusive term that any Veteran that was active during the years from 1961 to 1975. Vietnam Combat Veteran
(February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam, with so called "boots on the ground", during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975)
A good debate is still being had about the differentation by actual Veterans here. More information on the terms and years.
Not everyone who lost his life in Vietnam died there, not everyone who came home from Vietnam ever left there.
"You will never know how much it has cost my generation
to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it."
~ John Quincy Adams