When Veterans Served
During which periods did U.S. veterans serve in the military?
During World War II (1939-1945), the Korean War (1950-1953), and the Vietnam War (1955-1975), the draft swept up huge numbers of Americans into military service. Veterans of Vietnam continue to make up the largest share of the total veteran population; but the number of living veterans from older wars is declining. In 2011, there were nearly 1.9 million living veterans of World War II. By 2018, that number had dwindled to less than 500,000.