Jim, I always considered myself as a Vietnam Era Veteran, but a VA Representative said I wasn't because I went in the delayed entry program in April 4, 1975 during my senior year in high school. I started active duty September 4, 1975. Does the government/military count my five months of delayed entry time as service time? If so, would I be considered a Vietnam Era Veteran. What is the truth?
The Vietnam war was over when you entered active duty. A Vietnam veteran is one who served in country during the war. A Vietnam era veteran is one who actively served anywhere other than in country during the war. VA defines the Vietnam era as February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975. The time that you entered in to active duty is the qualifier you're looking for, that's when VA benefits would begin for you, and you missed that by weeks. Inactive time doesn't count when we calculate benefits...you're not a Vietnam era veteran.