Re: [sixties-l] Re: sixties-l-Vietnam War Memorial

From: Jerry West (
Date: Thu Jun 22 2000 - 08:56:42 CUT

  • Next message: purplewins: "[sixties-l] Women"

    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.

    JW reply:

    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
    On line news from Nootka Sound & Canada's West Coast
    An independent, progressive regional publication

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jun 22 2000 - 20:43:59 CUT