The American involvement in Vietnam (and greater South East Asia) started back in World War II and continued in the background for the French Indo-China War (1946-54). With the signing of the Geneva Accords in 1954 and the subsequent division of Vietnam into Communist North and Anti-Communist South the US became more embroiled in the struggle in Vietnam.
Our group Covers the period from 1954 – 1975 when US personnel were involved in the conflict either as Advisors or in a direct ground combat role. This large range of time and Units allows us to keep displays fresh and interesting both for the public who visit our shows and for our members.
AFVN was formed as a group in the late summer of 2012 by Graham Smith and Glen Carey. It was felt that to keep things fresh as a group there needed to be a degree of flexibility in the impressions and displays presented to the public. This ethos also allows the group to fill in the less portrayed eras of the US involvement, and change displays to fit in to larger combined shows where multiple Vietnam groups may be present. As a group we have good friendships with members of other groups and strive to work with our fellow living historians whenever and wherever possible.
Most of our members have come to us with a wealth of historical knowledge and experience in other groups, however we are also happy to take on new members who have no experience of living history. One thing you will not find in our group is any cliques or hazing rituals, everyone mucks in and everyone pulls together, that way everyone gets what they want out of the group.
Why do we do this?
Everyone has their own reasons. The most overwhelming is that the members of our group feel that due to the changing trends in Press and attitudes of the time the Vietnam Veterans were done a grave injustice, to this day many people don’t hold them in the same regard as they do veterans from other conflicts. Everyone is entitled to their opinions on the politics of the time and their own views on war in general but that is no reason to misrepresent and deride the efforts of the men and women involved, afterall they WEREN’T asked their views, they were just doing a job.
This group seeks to engage the public and educate them on the truths of the war in Vietnam not the period bias or the Hollywood hatchet jobs. Vietnam was in many ways a new war, but in many ways it was the same as other wars, there were heroes and villains, crimes, misunderstandings, Casualties and loss on both sides!
This group does not seek to glorify war or promote anti-communism, there is no affiliation to any political groups and the group has no political, racial or religious agenda.