Re: The Summer Of Love/Vets

Joseph T. Miller (
Fri, 22 Aug 1997 10:03:44 -0500

>As an organizer/activist during the 60's and 70's, I knew and worked with many
>brothers from VVAW and "having seen the light" they were, for the most part,
>fine people with their heads and hearts in the right place. However, VVAW
>were hardly representative of rank and file vets.
>revisionism, the U.S. soldiers who fought in that war
>were all, to one degree or another, compliant accomplices to this crime.

As a member of VVAW since 1970 and one of the current National
Co-Coordinators, I would merely point out that most of our members
(including myself) actually enlisted in the military because we "bought"
the anti-communist line thrown at us since birth. Our experiences changed
us...75% of VVAW members at the height of our activity were combat vets.
We have also consistently supported war resisters, during Vietnam and
since. Our slogan "Honor the Warrior, Not the War!" still remains true
today (for Gulf War vets who have joined us, for example), for we
understand, as many do not, that people can change and take actions that
reflect that change. This is not "revisionism"; it is merely life and our
particular truth. No one starts at the level of "purity" some seem to
expect. David Dellinger, one of the earliest proponents of working with
GIs as potential allies not "enemies," certainly understood this and
continues to practice it in his activism.

Peace with Justice,
Joe Miller
USN 1961-1968
National Co-Coordinator, VVAW, Inc.
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