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"You are the heroes who fulfill your duty to our nation. And each of you, under the most difficult conditions, did what you had to do, and you did it well," Trump said in an event held on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC).
"They are definitely tough, smart cookies. We like them," Trump said of the group. "I think they like me too. I'm not sure, but I think they do."
Trump, who is making his first visit to Vietnam as president, said the U.S. would not rest until all 1,253 veterans still missing in action from the conflict are recovered and returned home. More than 58,000 Americans lost their lives in the war.
The president signed a proclamation commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, part of a 13-year-long celebration honoring troops which began May 28, 2012 and runs through Nov. 11, 2025.
"We just want to thank you and all of the thousands and thousands and all of the people that served with you and in all of the other wars," Trump said.
Vietnam is the fourth stop on a five-country tour through Asia that is the longest of an American president in the last quarter century.
"I assume that by now you’re pretty exhausted," Trump said motioning to reporters. "The media must be absolutely exhausted, looking to home. But we have had a tremendous time."
Veterans Day is Nov. 11, the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.