“Why would I want to blow a hole the size of a grapefruit into someone, just because somebody said, ‘Hey, that’s your enemy””?
“Put more and more of the puzzle pieces together, and then you realize that you’ve got to bear witness,” Mike Hastie, Vietnam War medic.
“The fact that we were not shot encouraged us that this was not an unusual opinion … that Vietnam was just a bad idea in so many ways.”
“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.”
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.”
“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.”
Michael Uhl led a combat intelligence team with the 11th Infantry Brigade in Vietnam during 1968-69. Afterwards, he helped expose the Phoenix Program.
Speaking out against [the war], as an active-duty GI, would incur some risks. I might have to pay a price, but I had to do it because business as usual was not an option.”
“We were holding demonstrations, and sometimes the demonstrations became very militant. Yet, the war kept on going.”
“The My Lai Massacre hit the front pages…. I went and turned myself in to the Presidio stockade, and refused orders to Vietnam.”
“Why didn’t I intervene and stop … these guys from gang raping this 16-year-old villager? Why didn’t I stop that? I didn’t.”