1. Vietnam War
Vietnam War(1964-75): Many of the 8.8 million who served in uniform were draftees; 7.6 million are alive today.
2. Korean War
Korean War(1950-53): Often called "the forgotten war," it finally had a memorial dedicated to it in Washington in 1995. Of the 5.7 million Americans who served, 2.7 million survive.
3. Operation Desert Shield/Storm
Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm(1990-91): America's first encounter with Iraq's Saddam Hussein involved 2.3 million military personnel, of whom 2.2 million are still present
4. World War II
World War II(1941-45): America's most massive mobilization involved 16 million men and women, of whom 2.1 million are still alive.
5. Global war on terror
Global War on Terror(2001- ): Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have involved 1.4 million military personnel.
This is from an article by Rod Powers that you can read in its entirety HERE:
Many Americans mistakenly believe that Veterans Day is the day America sets aside to honor American military personnel who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained from combat. That's not quite true. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor America's war dead.
Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors ALL American veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11 of each year is the day that we ensure veterans know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in the lives to keep our country free.
In 1947, Raymond Weeks, of Birmingham Ala., organized a "Veterans Day" parade on November 11th to honor all of America's veterans for their loyal and dedicated service. Shortly thereafter, Congressman Edward H. Rees (Kansas) introduced legislation to change the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day in order to honor all veterans who have served the United States in all wars.
In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day, and called upon Americans everywhere to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace. He issued a Presidential Order directing the head of the Veterans Administration (now called the Department of Veterans Affairs), to form a Veterans Day National Committee to organize and oversee the national observance of Veterans Day.
Congress passed legislation in 1968 to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. However as it became apparent that November 11th was historically significant to many Americans, in 1978, Congress reversed itself and returned the holiday to its traditional date.
For my father, my uncles, my cousins, my friends, my co-workers and those whom I may never meet...thank you for your service to our Country.