This feature-length documentary focuses on the efforts by troops in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War to oppose the war effort by peaceful demonstration and subversion. It speaks ... See full summary »
This feature-length documentary focuses on the efforts by troops in the U.S. military during the Vietnam War to oppose the war effort by peaceful demonstration and subversion. It speaks mainly to veterans, but serves as a ready reminder to civilians that soldiers may oppose war as stridently as any civilian, and at greater personal peril. Written by
Steve Fenwick (email@example.com)
I sat in my college dorm room in 1972, after student deferments had been discontinued under political pressure, and I watched TV with my roommates as the man pulled birthdays out of a bowl in order to put them in numerical order to determine who would get called up first, second, and so on, according to their date of birth. Some of us drew lower numbers and started to sweat, not knowing if we would end up running to Canada, maybe forever, or if we would try to find a doctor who would give us an out (flat feet, allergies, homosexuality), but the medical excuses were getting harder and harder to pull off. By 1972, the draft boards were getting tired of everybody claiming to be gay or psychotic, so they drafted the weirdos and sissies anyway. It was a time when the fear became so palpable, that it drove me bats insane, so I hope people can understand why some of us protested, even violently. Now, to see that soldiers in Vietnam resisted the war even after they had been sent over there comes as something of a revelation because that fact has been glossed over by revisionist historians working for the power elite. This documentary shows how some guys resisted fighting and were court-martialed for it, in some cases being put on trial for treason, with a possible death sentence. Then there were the underground presses. Tons of homemade newspapers were circulated under threat of dishonorable discharge or even court martial for merely having a copy of a rebellious rag. The GI's who published these things were heroes in the truest sense. Jane Fonda, who is mostly remembered for her visit to Hanoi, was actually in Nam entertaining the troops in a bizarre parallel to Bob Hope. He would put on "patriotic" USO shows while Fonda and her troupe were invited by soldiers who liked her politics better. And it drove the officers crazy, but they couldn't stop her from going where she was invited. God has blessed me by allowing me to meet Ms. Fonda. She was presenting this film in NYC, and she hung out at the cafe in the IFC movie theater, where it is now playing. I pulled out my draft card, which I have been carrying in my wallet for 34 years. I asked her to autograph it, and she said, "Oh, cool!" Her signature is on the card right above that of S. Witherspoon, the local draft board administrator. Email me if you want me to send you a jpeg of this little artifact of history.
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