Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Home News A salute to African-American military service

A salute to African-American military service

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In honor of Black History Month, the below statstics bring to life the breadth and depth of African-American military service since World War I. Sources for the statistics include the 2016 American Community Survey, Statista, the Congressional Research Service, the National WWII Museum and the U.S. Army.

2.1 million: Black military veterans nationwide

30.2: Percent of active-duty enlisted women in 2016 who were African-American

17.1: Percent of active-duty enlisted men in 2016 who were African-American

20,000+: Black Marine Corps recruits who received training at Montford Point camp in North Carolina during World War II

21: African-Americans who received the Medal of Honor for actions during the Vietnam War

7,243: Deaths of active-duty black servicemembers in Vietnam

3,075: Deaths of active-duty black servicemembers in the Korean War

901,896: African-Americans who served during World War II

24: Percent of the 500,000 U.S. military personnel deployed to the Middle East during the Persian Gulf War who were African-American

350,000+: Blacks who served in American Expeditionary Forces units on the Western Front in World War I

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Did you know?

A veteran’s family must request a United States flag.

A flag is provided at no cost to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran. Generally, the flag is given to the next of kin. Only one flag may be provided per veteran. Upon the request of the family, an “Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes” (VA Form 21-2008) must be submitted along with a copy of the veteran’s discharge papers. Flags may be obtained from VA regional offices and most U.S. Post Offices.