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VVAW's Memories of 1971 Guestbook

1971 was a year of intense struggle, and growth, for VVAW.

2021 is the 50th anniversary of many of VVAW’s iconic actions - national, regional, and local:
the Playboy ad, the Winter Soldier Investigations, Operation Dewey Canyon III, Operation POW, Operation Peace on Earth, and more.

VVAW is collecting the stories, photos, and videos we have in an easy-to-access location on our website www.vvaw.org/1971_50years/.

We would like to invite you to add your stories, for publication on our website and possibly in The Veteran as well.

If you'd like to sign this guestbook, please use the form at the bottom of the page.

To submit longer articles or photos, email vvaw@vvaw.org.

12/4/20 at 12:19— Marty Webster writes:
There will always be a VVAW

12/9/20 at 08:35— Andy Berman writes:
I was in basic training at Fort Lewis when VVAW held Dewey Canyon III in Washington, DC in the Spring of 1971. The intense drama of Vietnam vets throwing their medals over the fence onto the Capitol was reflected in the demeanor of the new recruits. You could see it in their eyes and hear it in their nervous conversations about what was happening 3000 miles away. A few made crude disparaging remarks about it. Most were sober and struggling to understand it. Many of those recruits later wound up in Vietnam. I often wonder how the VVAW demonstrations impacted them when they arrived in Vietnam.

12/9/20 at 10:38— Patrick Francis McCann writes:
1971, December 4th to be exact, was when this active-duty GI (USAF) began his 50-year journey as a freedom fighter. I attended the 2nd anniversary of Fred Hampton's murder by the Chicago police and the FBI. Left the Southside Chicago church that night no longer 'their' soldier. Been a member of VVAW since 1973.

12/9/20 at 11:24— Bart House writes:
I was 18 that year.
This was the first draft year that Selective Service abolished the College Deferment.
I was totally against the War.
I applied for Conscientious Objector Status from my local draft board.
I was denied. I appealed. I was denied again
I enlisted in the Navy in 1972

12/9/20 at 11:42— Jim Wohlgemuth writes:
1971 and I was still on the Westchester County LST 1167 off the coast near the Mekong. We just floated back and forth supplying attack helicopters and PBRs. My frustration at our mindless assignments was numbed by visits to Hong Kong, Singapore, Subic, and Yokosuka and being 500days short and counting

12/20/20 at 16:42— Paul Tabone writes:
1971 meant I was back in the world for a whole year that July 20th. Being lucky and drawing an 11B MOS gave me the opportunities to see the war up front and personal. Fortunately I had more good times than bad in the Northern I Corps. I did go to a VVAW meeting in my town but at that time I couldn't connect. Some years later I finally decided that I owed it to myself and joined again, this time as a Life Member. I tend to be more a supporter than a doer, but that's my problem, nobody else's. I have learned that I trust nothing related to the US Military. Never did and never will. The USG is only concerned with making the military bigger and bigger. Now we even have a "Space Patrol" WTF?

12/23/20 at 15:10— John Zutz writes:
I came home from Nam on Veterans Day '69, but I still had more than 6months left to serve, so they wouldn't discharge me. I was stationed in California when the "big" actions happened, but I could buy Playboy at the PX. I kept the flag-draped casket inside my locker, and I still have it on my wall. I was a late comer, but I thank all of you who led the way.

12/28/20 at 10:11— Joseph T. Miller writes:
Chicago, April, 1971. Since I was not able to attend any VVAW events away from home, my wife Linda and our daughter Lisa joined me in the April 24, 1971, march in Chicago. Lisa was only five, so we had her in a stroller. As we marched, the chants bounced off the buildings on State Street. "One, two, three, four, we don't want your fucking war!" was among the most popular. The next day, we were at my folks' place for Sunday dinner. Five-year-old Lisa, dressed in her Sunday finest, began marching around the living room shouting "One, two, three, four, we don't want your fucking war!" My wife laughed, my parents were shocked, and I caught hell that day. I was so proud of my daughter, though. I still am.

1/14/21 at 12:55— Jeffrey Goldin writes:
I was the 1st person in the USAF to go on a hunger strike in protest to the Vietnam War. That was in April 1968. I was handcuffed to my bunk and beaten by the APs assigned to watch over me. You can read about this in "Sir No Sir". I received an Undesirable Discharge in 1968, I became very active in the movement to end the war. In 1977 I received amnesty from President Carter and was upgraded to an Honorable Discharge.

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