May 15

May 15, 1962  –  US Marines Arrive In Laos

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.  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.

Melvin Morris and a fellow Soldier take time to pose for a photo taken in South Vietnam

Melvin Morris and a fellow Soldier take time to pose for a photo taken in South Vietnam

 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.