The Most Famous Vietnam Veteran: Recognizing an Icon

Choose the veteran you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 24, 2024 07:19
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion matters! Today, we are diving into the lives of those brave souls who fought during the Vietnam War and emerged as some of the most recognizable veterans in American history. We have curated a list of the most famous Vietnam veterans, and now it's time for you to have your say! Join us in ranking and celebrating these heroes who have not only served their country but also made a significant impact in various aspects of our society. Cast your vote for your favorite Vietnam veteran, and if you think there's a deserving name missing from the list, feel free to suggest an addition. Your voice counts, so let's come together and pay tribute to these extraordinary individuals who forever remind us of the true meaning of courage and sacrifice.

Who Is the Most Famous Vietnam Veteran?

  1. 1
    John McCain
    United States Congress · Public domain
    He was a U.S. Senator and the Republican nominee for President in 2008. McCain was a Navy pilot who was shot down and held as a prisoner of war for over five years during the Vietnam War.
    John McCain in other rankings
  2. 2
    Oliver Stone
    Georges Biard · CC BY-SA 3.0
    He is a film director, producer, and screenwriter who served in the Army during the Vietnam War. Stone's experiences in Vietnam inspired some of his most famous films, including Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July.
    Oliver Stone in other rankings
  3. 3
    He is a Vietnam War veteran and anti-war activist who wrote the book Born on the Fourth of July, which was later adapted into a movie by Oliver Stone. Kovic was paralyzed from the chest down after being shot in the spine during the war.
  4. 4
    He served as the U.S. Secretary of Defense from 2013 to 2015 and was a U.S. Senator from Nebraska from 1997 to 2009. Hagel served in the Army during the Vietnam War and was wounded twice.
    Chuck Hagel in other rankings
  5. 5
    Bob Kerrey
    United States Congress · Public domain
    He is a former U.S. Senator from Nebraska and the former Governor of Nebraska. Kerrey served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during a mission in 1969.
  6. 6
    He served as the U.S. Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005 and was the first African American to hold the position. Powell served in the Army during the Vietnam War and was awarded a Purple Heart.
    Colin Powell in other rankings
  7. 7
    He is a former U.S. Senator from Georgia and the former Administrator of the U.S. Veterans Administration. Cleland served in the Army during the Vietnam War and lost both of his legs and his right arm in an explosion.
  8. 8
    Bob Hope
    Trikosko, Marion S. · Public domain
    He was an entertainer and comedian who performed for U.S. troops during multiple wars, including the Vietnam War. Hope is often associated with his annual USO Christmas shows, which he hosted for over 50 years.
    Bob Hope in other rankings
  9. 9

    Al Gore

    Al Gore
    He served as the Vice President of the United States from 1993 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton. Gore served in the Army during the Vietnam War and was awarded a Bronze Star.
    Al Gore is an American politician and environmentalist who served as the 45th Vice President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. He is best known for his efforts to combat climate change and promote environmental sustainability.
    • Political Career: Served as Vice President from 1993-2001
    • Environmentalism: Advocate for climate change awareness and sustainability
    • Climate Reality Project: Founder of an organization focused on educating and mobilizing action on climate change
    • Author: Wrote several books, including 'An Inconvenient Truth'
    • Nobel Peace Prize: Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his environmental activism
    Al Gore in other rankings
  10. 10
    He served as the U.S. Secretary of the Navy from 1987 to 1988 and was elected to the U.S. Senate from Virginia in 2006. Webb served as a Marine during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Navy Cross, the second-highest military decoration for valor.

Missing your favorite veteran?


Ranking factors for famous veteran

  1. Military Service
    The rank achieved, unit assignments, and commendations received during their time in Vietnam can be important factors. This may include factors such as combat experience, leadership roles, and bravery displayed.
  2. Public Recognition
    The level of public recognition and general awareness of the veteran's service and contributions can be considered. This could include factors such as media coverage, public appearances, and public support for their efforts.
  3. Impact on the Vietnam War
    The veteran's influence or impact on the course of the war can be significant. This could involve factors such as strategic decisions, policy-making, or significant contributions that affected the war's outcome or the way it was perceived.
  4. Post-War Contributions
    The veteran's contributions and accomplishments after the Vietnam War, whether in politics, activism, business, or any other field, can also be considered. This includes their efforts in advocacy for veterans' rights or their contributions to society and their community.
  5. Overall Popularity and Cultural Impact
    The veteran's overall popularity and cultural impact, including their portrayal in books, movies, or other media, can play a role in determining their fame.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous Vietnam veteran. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or vet is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 158 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each vet once every 24 hours. The rank of each vet is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous vietnam veteran

The Vietnam War was a controversial conflict that lasted from 1955 to 1975. It involved the United States and its allies fighting against the communist forces of North Vietnam and its allies. The war claimed the lives of over 58,000 American soldiers and wounded countless others, leaving a lasting impact on the country. Despite the controversy surrounding the war, many brave soldiers served their country with honor and distinction, including some who went on to achieve fame and notoriety in their post-war careers. Among these veterans, some have become household names, such as John McCain, Oliver Stone, and Ron Kovic. However, when it comes to the most famous Vietnam veteran, the title is often bestowed upon a man who never served in combat: former President of the United States, George W. Bush. While he did serve in the Texas Air National Guard during the war, he was never deployed to Vietnam. Other notable Vietnam veterans include John Kerry, Colin Powell, and Chuck Hagel, all of whom went on to achieve success in politics, with Kerry and Powell serving as U.S. Secretaries of State. Despite the varying levels of fame and success achieved by these veterans, all of them share a common bond: their service and sacrifice in one of the most controversial wars in American history.

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