The Archive Collection

Archive Insider: Military Appreciation Plaque

February 8, 2021

Billy Graham preaches to American troops in Vietnam

Throughout 2021, we aree honoring our local heroes by showcasing items given to Billy Graham by law enforcement, fire, and military personnel throughout the course of his ministry.

Billy Graham spent two Christmases ministering to American soldiers during the Vietnam War, first in 1966 and then again in 1968. When he arrived in Vietnam on one of those trips, reporters swarmed him to find out if he supported the president’s policy regarding the war, and he responded by saying, “My only desire is to minister to our troops by my prayers and spiritual help wherever I can.”

In his autobiography Just As I Am, Billy Graham recounts about the scary flights he took to get to the areas where American soldiers were stationed:

“Another flight, this one skittering over the treetops, was just as hair-raising. The weather was worse that time, and only one volunteer – a colonel – came forward to fly the Team to some spots near the front. The plane was a two-motor job with a big hole in the back. At one point, the colonel and I both let out a roar when a mountain appeared right in front of the windscreen. He pulled back on the stick as hard as he could, and I heard the back of the plane scape the treetops. We finally made an impossible landing at a remote site, and not a moment too soon for my taste. I led a short service with the troops, and Bev [Shea] sang a hymn. Then, the colonel made an impossible takeoff for another spot fifteen minutes away. And so it went throughout the day. I was in a state of perpetual fright, but Bev? He just sat back, singing songs.”

Billy Graham preached in remote areas along the front in Vietnam during two Christmases (1966 and 1968)

This month’s archives feature is a plaque given to Billy Graham by the Command Chaplain of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) during his 1968 trip to Vietnam. Billy Graham met with many soldiers from this joint-service effort between the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force during his visit and was able to share the hope of Christ even in that war-ravaged area.

To learn more about Billy Graham’s ministry around the world, make plans to visit the Billy Graham Library. You can find out more and book your tour at

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