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The Draft During the Vietnam War
Los Angeles County

Draftees, Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Vietnam War, Army, 1967

Draftees arrive for military training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, 1967. Photo by Warren K. Leffler, U.S. News & World Report magazine photograph collection, Library of Congress.


From 1964 through 1973, the period of America's direct engagement in the Vietnam war, more than 1.8 million young Americans were involuntarily drafted into service in the United States military, mostly the Army. We estimate that about 63,000 of these men were from Los Angeles County. During their two years of obligated service, they received pay that is the equivalent today of about $680 per month, not more than 60% of what they would have earned as civilians. A good number, if not most, ended up fighting in Vietnam and many in direct combat roles. Although we found no specific number, we estimate that, based upon national percentages, 600 of all Angelenos killed in Vietnam were draftees.