US Marines Arrive In Laos
The first US Marines arrived in Laos on May 15, 1962. The Vietnam War occurred in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia from 1955 until 1975. African American soldiers participated heavily in what became the longest war over the last two centuries other than the war in Afghanistan. Inner city and rural youth from all across America were drafted while others volunteered for what was one of the World’s deadliest wars. The first record of an American death occurred on June 8, 1956 while the last recorded casualty of the war occurred on May 28, 2006. In total, there were 58,220 deaths of which 7,243 were African American.
Over the last 40 years, since the conclusion of the war, African Americans have continued their upward mobility in the armed forces. There is perhaps no better example of this than Brig. Gen. Linda L. Singh, Assistant Adjutant General – Army, (shown in the video below) is the first female and the first African-American commander of the Maryland Army National Guard.