“I wanted to show that an actual active duty GI in 1968 could do this, could take a very public stance against the war,” shares Vietnam War GI resister.
50 Years of GI Resistance
Was he brainwashed in Vietnam? Maybe, he said. But no more so than he had been by American culture before he went to war.
“The vast majority of guys who were sent to Vietnam were sent against their will…coerced into the army and had a chip on our shoulders.”
Suggested classes on GI and veteran resistance to the Vietnam War that can be incorporated into courses on social movements, political change and other topics.
Tens of thousands of active duty GIs opposed America’s war in Vietnam, marching, signing petitions, writing underground newspapers for their fellow soldiers, and refusing to fight, often at great personal sacrifice.
I said, “This is fucked up.” And he said, “You’re just having a little thing.” And I said, “No, it’s not okay.” I said, “We don’t belong here.”
On organizing with the American Serviceman’s Union: “I thought, what could I be doing that’s more effective than helping the GIs organize to stay out of this war.”
Above: Draft-age Americans being counseled by Mark Satin (far left) at the Anti-Draft Programme office on Spadina...
“Four of us from the same platoon desert[ed] together, which is the ultimate military crime,” shares Ward Reilly, US Army Vietnam era GI resister
“It’s very hard for people to believe that their country would try to kill them,” explains former National Guard member Zels Johnson.
“I told my command officer that I wasn’t going to, I was refusing my orders [to Vietnam] … In his rage, he thought if he court-martialed me, he’d have to stay in the Army past his discharge date.”
The Shelter Half was located near Fort Lewis, WA, where US Army soldier Deni Leonard was stationed. The coffeehouse was a base for him and others trying to end the war in Vietnam.
By Bill Ramsey. Norman Mailer dubbed us “armies of the night.” But I retreated before sunset to what I thought would be safer ground as our our protesting “armies” lit camp fires outside the Pentagon.
From Colectivo Editorial Amor y Rabia A coulpe of years ago, we published (in spanish) in our magazine a monography...