Keith King

No name is more closely tied with Vietnam Veterans than that of Keith King; Life Member of Chapter #9, Detroit VVA, an organization to which he was elected to the Board of Directors for five consecutive terms.  Additionally , he spent five years with the Michigan Council of Vietnam Veterans of America, five years as the National Public Affairs Chairman of the VVA and National President of the VVAF—posts he holds today.  For a decade, he worked as a trustee in the Michigan Veteran’s Trust Fund, overseeing a $50 million trust.

Therefore, it’s a bit ironic when King (who served the US Army between 1969-1971) says with his characteristic deadpan nod, “I really didn’t become a vet until ten years after I got out of the service.”

He is referring to the tremendous sense of caution that most returning vets felt in the first tentative years.  Having been confronted by angry America, an attitude King believes was fueled by a hostile press unable to separate the war from the warrior, he found himself reluctant to admit his service.  In fact, he says, “I began leaving ‘Vietnam Veteran’ off my resume.”

That’s a tragedy, of course, in light of the fact that at the time, Vietnam vets—far from being the demons and maladjusted misfits portrayed at the time—in fact went on to become the most highly educated veterans America had known up to that time. 

“Today,” King says, ‘Vietnam vets are your next door neighbors.  They are your doctors, your business leaders, your university professors.   You find us at all levels of society, producing, creating, laying down the foundations on which this generation and the next will prosper.”

Among the activities of which King is most justifiably proud is his creation of the Veterans Support Foundation, which will replace the VVAF and insure the future of the foundation and its work on behalf of Veterans.

“We want to make sure that today’s soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan don’t get the same treatment; and it seems to be working.  The media has finally made that transition; today, it is possible to oppose the war without opposing the troops.  Our diligent efforts to make that happen is something that Vietnam vets should be credited with…”



Contact Us