Jeffrey Blankfort wrote:
I believe an increasing number of soldiers in the field began to write
home to their parents and loved ones that they didn't know what they
were doing fighting in Vietnam and were concerned that they were
sacrificing their futures for nothing.
I can vouch for that. I was there from '65 to '67 and by the time I
left a lot of people were questioning the war. I spent the next three
years stationed in Japan where the questions became more frequent and
the reports from Vietnam began showing an increase in morale problems.
By 1970 there was considerable anti-war activity in the armed forces,
including the bases in Japan.
The Japanese media gave the anti-war GI's good coverage and there were
several GI anti-war newspapers being published by GI's with the support
of the Japanese, the Fellowship of Reconcilliation and others. The tone
of the dissatisfaction also changed over the years and became more
political as time progressed, especially when the race issue among
blacks became prominent around '69 and horizons started to widen.
Protests by GI's by 1970 had escalated to open yet legal defiance of the
brass on free speech and related issues, and psychological sabotage by
maintainance personnel was affecting military readiness of the flight
This attitude towards the war and the government in general was not
confined to first term enlisted. I knew field grade officers who were
fed up as well as career enlisted.
I have always thought that one of the mistakes that the North Vietnamese
made was in not treating the prisoners of war better and releasing them
quickly and openly to neutral countries. It would have further
undermined the US war effort.
-- Jerry West Editor/publisher/janitor ---------------------------------------------------- THE RECORD On line news from Nootka Sound & Canada's West Coast An independent, progressive regional publication http://www.island.net/~record/
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jun 22 2000 - 20:43:59 CUT