The largest number of American combat troops began to arrive in Vietnam during 1965 and the last left the country in 1973.
While some members of the New Mexico National Guard volunteered to serve in Vietnam, thousands more New Mexicans were drafted.
This bronze monument depicts a soldier saying goodbye to his buddy. The Field Cross is made using a helmet, a rifle, and a pair of boots, and is a stark reminder of the loss of his friend. The artist is George Salas, a Vietnam Veteran.
This monument was dedicated 29 March 2010. The date is significant because it was on that day in 1973 when all combat troops left Vietnam. That’s when all other Americans came out of Vietnam, including the CIA, Marine Corps Embassy Guards and medical personnel. This should not be confused, however, with the fall of Saigon, which occurred 30 April 1975.