In the Long Shadow of the Vietnam War: American Post-Vietnam War Era Individual, Collective and Cultural Memory Since Vietnam
By Kevin A. Stoda (2002)
Memories All Around Us—Every American seems to have his or her memory of Vietnam, whether they experienced the Vietnam War personally, saw something in a movie, or heard stories that others have told.
Sterling Morrison, founder of the influential band The Velvet Underground and a former professor of English at the University of Texas in Austin, recalls meeting the Velvet Underground lead guitarist one day at his campus dormitory in Syracuse, New York. As the ROTC was marching down below, John Cale, had grabbed a set of bagpipes. Cale had tried to interrupt the ROTC. He blasted them with bagpipes. This particular episode led to Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison’s quick discovery of John Cale. This eventually led to the forming of one of the most famous avante gard band of all-time.
In a recent commemorative act carried out by Southwest Texas State University officials attempting to reach out and work towards healing the rifts of the past, the infamous San Marcos Ten were invited back to the San Marcos, Texas campus on October 23, 2001 to speak and meet with current students at SWT. Thirty-two years before in 1969, the San Marcos Ten–consisting of David Bayless, Annie Burleson, Joseph Saranello, Paul Cates, Al Henson, Sallie Ann Satagaj, Murray Rosenwasser, Michael Holman, David McConchie, And Frances Vykoukal–had made history at Lyndon Baines Johnson’s alma mater (San Marcos) by defying the university’s strict regulations on public demonstrations, i.e. in carrying out a sit-down protest against the Vietnam War that autumn. The ten were subsequently given a campus hearing by the SWT administration for breaking campus guidelines and were then expelled from the institution.
One of the ten, Joseph Saranello, was interviewed twice by Texas A & M oral historians. In one of the interviews, he reports, ”the goal was to try and get government to change its policies in Vietnam. It wasn only, I think, to try and stop the draft.? At the time Saranello claimed, some of the demonstrations on the San Marcos campus were involving up to ten-percent of the student body. That it showed the administration was that a great many studentsany from small towns in Texasere questioning the war. In small towns, young people just didn question governmental authority.?
Dr. Mark Troy, a doctor of psychology at Texas A& M, recalls working to shut down his alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis after the Kent State shootings. Previously, as a high school student he had seen himself as supporter of the warupported the domino theory and all.? That had slowly changed. By the Tet Offensive, he was no longer for the war after a friend of his was killed in Vietnam; however, like President William Jefferson Clinton did in that same time period, Troy had still tried to get into ROTC so as to delay his being sent overseas as he first entered graduate school.
Martin Wiginton had been drafted in the 1950s and had gotten his distaste for American foreign policy while being forced to carry the luggage of various corrupt U.S.-backed dictators who were visiting the Panama Canal Zone, where Wiginton had been stationed. With his GI bill he had returned to Austin and had eventually graduated with a law degree just as the Civil Rights movement was peaking and hippies and the peace movement were beginning to arrive to town. Wiginton had worked on the Ralph Yarborough campaign for governor in 1960 with Robert Kennedy financing. Later, in 1968 he had run for governor on a peace ticket with Dr. Bill Malone of San Marcos as his running mate for Lieutenant Governor.
Wiginton also helped bring Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda’s Fuck the Army?project to Ft. Hood and Austin. As a lawyer, Wiginton had worked to raise funds for a lot of conscientious objectors trying to get their status recognized. This included those soldiers in Ft. Hood who were already in the military. The army was rying to kick people out of the military without due process and without certain benefits, a lot of us lawyers helped out.? Wiginton was later one of the thousands that the Nixon administration preemptively arrested in the early 1970s while preparing for a series of demonstrations on the capital. He was hauled with others to a sports stadium for the duration. He later sued the government. Ewon our case for being unfairly detained. We got two thousand dollars.?
For his own college students, historian Michael Frisch defines American collective memory as the ascinating data on the images of American history that my students have carried around in their heads before entering my classroom.? This is not to extrapolate that these data are something that we can easily measure and use in a statistical package; nonetheless, the term data is a good metaphor for the cognitive frames, interconnected details, and apparently random lists of details that can be recalled at any one time by individuals or as part of collective. All these data make up collective memory. In contrast, cultural memory is something even more fluid or significantly more ambiguous. The domain of cultural memory is defined in this paper as the debating grounds where individual-to-individual and individual-to-culture (or individual-to-society) interaction or debate is taking place and where the actors are attempting to define or redefine which data are more significant (or are more important) to remember and to recall as well. One of the goals of all collective memory related debates is to lay claim to and to specify for what particular purpose memory is to serve.
The Vietnam War and its memories of related experiences of protest, struggle, violence, and loss has likely affected America and American own national conceptions of self-in-the-world more than any other event of the last 30-35 years. Naturally, this is likely so because this event lasted longer than any other war in American historyside from the Cold War in which it was embedded. George C. Herring classic and influential, America Longest War: The United States and Vietnam 1950-1975, continues to be an anchor in most post-WWII American history seminars. This is true even though the author, Herring, deals primarily with the military actions overseas and the high politics at home rather than with the war at the individual and community levels. Due to the longevity of the Vietnam War as part of the American experience and through its peculiar widespread intensity–heightened in the1960s and 1970s by the advent of mass access to television and improvements in other methods of mass communication and mass organization–the shadow of America Vietnam War experience has returned again and again in popular in American Art forms, in the politics of mass culture, and in high public debate. The war has remained as a most important wedge (and dividing line) between America of the late 20th (& early 21st) century and all of pre-1960s American history.
Government and Military Policy Changes in Post-Vietnam America
Most likely, the one major change in the conceptual frame through which political and military policy makers approach the world in the post-Vietnam War era has to do with how the country military plans, fights, and carries out its wars. The most obvious example of this new thinking in implementation of foreign policy is the so-called Powell Doctrine. This practice actually predates General Colin Powell taking command of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the George Bush administration by a decade or more . U.S. actions along the lines of the doctrine had been carried out in Grenada and Panama already. The Powell Doctrine is the direct result of the much bespoken Vietnam War syndrome. The doctrine is the driving force behind policies of verwhelming military force?being employed in post-Vietnam wars by the U.S. in Kosovo and Afghanistan.
Further, since the media has been more controlled and censored in wartime while terms like quagmire are used often by administration critics practically every time U.S. forces and advisors are sent abroad. For keeping a good public image in its current war on terrorism, for example, the George W. Bush administration hired five Madison Avenue spin-doctors, including Karen Hughes, Charlotte Beers, Victoria Clark, Mary Matalin, and Ari Fleischer directing public relations in the War on Terrorism from the White House each day. Titles, like Operation Just Caused, are chosen and used to promote the administration policy image.
The main objective of manipulating the media is to leave the public with the opinion that the end-of-tunnel is near or that the war is just about won: Two realms lacking credibility which had led to the eventual demise of the Johnson Presidency after the Tet Offensive in 1968. Another lesson-learned from Vietnam has been to avoid at-all-cost getting involved in long wars, whereby large numbers of U.S. soldiers are soon seen on TV being brought home in body bags. When over 220 marines were killed by a suicide bombing in Beirut in 1983 in the midst of civil war in Lebanon, the Reagan administration quickly pulled the American troops out of the conflict zone. Likewise, a decade later in 1993 Somalia, when 18 U.S troops were killed and some of their bodies were subsequently dragged through the streets and shown on CNN, the Clinton Administration quickly determined to pull U.S. forces out of that country civil war. Both the Powell Doctrine and this desire to keep U.S. casualties to a minimum have certainly been the motivating forces at work both in 1999 during the U.S. participation in and bombings of cities in Serbia and Kosovo during the Kosovo War and in 2001 have been at work in the planning and organizing of the current War on Terrorism.
These determined efforts by the U.S. government to maintain a positive media face were reinforced in the last years of the Vietnam War when the Fourth Estate power was unusually free-wielding and working actively with independent media sources. One of the more telling and contradictory live reports from Vietnam occurred in 1968 during the Tet offensive when Viet Cong forces came over the U.S. Embassy walls and shooting broke out just as a U.S. commander was stating to reporters and cameramen that the U.S. troops had everything under control. In the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, and the current War on Terrorism, the U.S. government and the military have attempted to keep media at hands length and have been quick to appeal to national security in keeping both details and reporters in line (or on a leash) in the field.
At the individual level of soldier, many important things have changed since the Vietnam War. Most noticeably, there has been no draft since the early 1970s. For over seven years prior to the U.S.S.R. invasion of Afghanistan and the fall of the Shah in 1979, the Office of Selective Service in the U.S. was essentially inactive and biding its time. Soon after the Soviet invasion Selective Service registration was re-instituted in 1980 under the Carter administration. Nevertheless, the U.S. military has remained essentially an all-volunteer force since the Vietnam War. The message for the military from its Vietnam War experience seems to have been to try and keep potential protestors out of the military by avoiding a public random draft. Still, however, nearly thirty years after the war, there has been a strong continuing reliance by the military to successfully recruit soldiers from the poorer echelons of U.S. society.
Finally, one other important major change for the military has been in the Code of Conduct for individual soldiers. These changes have occurred since Vietnam and in the wake of the well-publicized trials on the My Lai massacre. Similar to changes in the West German code of conduct for soldiers established in the 1950s, the Code of Conduct for U.S. military personnel now requires soldiers to use their common sense and judgment in determining whether to disobey commands from officers which any soldier recognizes as a crime against humanity.
Shadow of Vietnam and Cultural Memories in Movies, Music, and Oral Histories
According to Joseph Roquemore, author of History Goes to the Movies, eature films pack great persuasive power, because viewing them is like witnessing crimes or auto accidents: well-made movies hold your interest continuously.? Roquemore argues that millions of Americans are anatical history lovers? This is why high school and college libraries and history faculties around the country often have upwards of 100 such films on hand each year. He also notes that historically based feature films pack cinemas every year, regardless as to whether the movie is Saving Private Ryan or it is a romantic drama like Titanic.
On the other hand, Roquemore explains, some films are more ahistorical than others. The main concern, according Roquemore, is that he odds are very high that most movies, at some point, will lead you away from history unless they [history instructors] send you to the library.? This is one reason why the author of this paper on the Shadow of the Vietnam War has chosen to go to the Oral History section at the Cushing Library here at Texas A&M University to see whether individual memories of the Vietnam era recorded in the 1980s and 1990s match up with the Hollywood film industry portrayal of that era. During much of the mid- to late 1970s there was a general hush in Hollywood in terms of rehashing the Vietnam War as well as the key social and political the events of the previous decade. Hollywood first production on the subject was Coming Home (1978), which won several academy awards, with John Voigt and Jane Fonda playing the main roles. In this genre of post-Vietnam War film, a handicapped Vietnam veteran returns home, feels abused, is horrified that the real war story is not being told in America, and is treated like an outsider in his own homeland.
Turning to the Cushing Library and Archives oral history tapes at Texas A & M, Robert Corbett, an active platoon leader of Charlie Company, 2nd of the 27th Wolfhounds in Vietnam in the 1960s, concurs with the bitter homecoming stories, which were prevalent at the end of the war and subsequently portrayed in movies, such as in the scene in Forrest Gump when Jenny SDS boyfriend harangues Forrest and calls the uniformed Forrest a aby killer? Corbett, too, acknowledges having had similar experiences; for example, he recalls being called a aby killer? upon his return back into the States in 1970 in Oakland, California. That same year, back at Mankato State University in Minnesota, Corbett narrates how he soon became active in the anti-war movement, even eventually becoming the Regional Coordinator for the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Corbett claims that he joined the VVAW because the VFW and the American Legion were simply spinning the government official story. In the interview, Corbett explains, hat the press tells us and what the military tells the press to tell us shows that there is a lot of factual inaccuracy and we want[ed] to set the record straight.?
Like Ron Kovic before him, whose autobiography, Born on the Fourth of July, was to become one of the more popular non-fiction works on the war in the early 1970s, Robert Corbett had come from a small rural community. Prior to going to Vietnam himself, he and people in his community had sincerely believed in the prevailing official political line in America concerning the domino theory. However, after actually arriving in Vietnam for the first time, Corbett claimed: ?within three weeks, my attitude began to change. I thought we were saving these people–that we were over there as liberators, helping themnd that they were welcoming us with open arms. When I got out in the countryside and in the areas that supposedly no American troops had ever been before, the people there were afraid of us.?
Corbett went on to explain that one of the most frustrating things about his many experiences in Vietnam was that the people above him in the military chain-of-command didn really want to hear what he perceived was actually occurring on the ground: omputers and statistical data had shown them that the war was being won and that it was progressing in a certain way that needed to be continued.? As counterpoint to Corbett opinion, Walt Rostow, in his 1985 tape recording at Cushing, chides his young interviewer for listening to reports by individual veterans, claiming in the interview and in his various books that LBJ and his team of policymakers had a much better overview than those on the ground.
In the genre of films represented by Coming Home and Born on the 4th of July, the hero eventually joins the anti-war movement and works with organizations, such as the Vietnam Veteran Against the War (VVAW). In Coming Home, the first film of its particular genre, which includes classics such as the autobiographical account of Ron Kovic in Oliver Stone 1988 Academy Award winning production of Born on the 4th of July, the story line deals primarily with the problems of Vietnam era veterans and how they responded with protest to the American war effort once they came back to the U.S.
Meanwhile, for nearly a decade Hollywood neglected to deal with the continuing and psychological stress that the war had left veterans with. Until the 1990s Hollywood would leave the discussion of Vietnam veteran continuing post-traumatic stress to the music industry. In this vain in 1983, popular songs, such as Bruce Springsteen orn in the U.S.A.?and the Charlie Daniel Band till in Saigon?, dealt with this subject. Specifically, this genre of song text deals with social and psychological troubles faced by veterans after the war, e.g. post-traumatic stress syndrome, unemployment, and disorientation still effecting some Vietnam veterans in the post-Vietnam era. Springsteen upbeat #1 tune, orn in the USA? disguises a dark portrait of thrown-a-way soldier in the post-Vietnam era:
Down in the shadow of the penitentiary Out by the gas fires of the refinery I ten years burning down the road Nowhere to run ain got nowhere to go Born in the USA (1983)
In till in Saigon? the Charlie Daniels Band covered a tune written earlier by Dan Daley. The song hit the Top-40 charts as well. The protagonist in the song finds himself still daily pondering the war and feeling its affect on his life years after he has returned back home from Vietnam.
Finally, the movie director, Oliver Stone handled the subject of war memory and the mental suffering of one veteran of the post-Vietnam era in his Heaven and Earth (1993). The story revolves around a lack-operations?and special forces officer, played by Tommy Lee Jones, who marries a Vietnamese women who had been victim of torture by both North and South Vietnamese forces. Heaven and Earth is based on the real life story of Phung Thi Le Ly Hayslip . Le Ly later founded the East-Meets-West Foundation, which seeks, both emotionally and physically, to help rebuild lives of civilians and combatants on both sides in America and Vietnam.
The male protagonist in Heaven and Earth(1993), a Vietnam veteran, fails to survive his war memories, which had haunted him very much. He had been assigned to do several inhumane acts, including torture. Eventually he commits suicide. Meanwhile, his Vietnamese wife slowly comes to terms with both her Vietnamese experience and her new American way of life. Heaven and Earth is one of the few Hollywood films to tell the story of the Vietnam War from the perspective of a Vietnamese peasant caught between both the Viet Cong and the South Vietnamese forces. In the movie, Stone portrays Le Ly story as a parable for the post-WWII experience for all of Vietnam. In 1988 Le Ly Hayslip actually founded East-Meets-West, which is a non-profit organization which encourages ormer fighter to return to Vietnam to build schools and medical facilities for children, women and the disabled.?
On one of the archival tapes at the Cushing Library at Texas A&M University, one Vietnam refugee memories details both the last days of the Vietnam War before the collapse of Saigon as well as the story of how he, his mother, and his brother fled from Vietnam in the 1970s and 1980s. On the tape, Ricky Doan tells of the capture of his father–a formerly high ranking officer in the South Vietnamese military–, as well as the subsequent planning of his family journey to Thailand as part of the migrations of many oat people?from Vietnam who made their way overseas to the U.S. and Canada in the years following the war.
Specifically, describing the final days before Saigon fell, Rick Doan relates, t was crazy ?when I saw everybody from South Vietnamese Army behind a tank while I was on my way to church one night?They were stripping off their uniforms so that when the North Vietnamese arrived they wouldn know they served in the army.? Doan reports that his father drove him and his sister to the U.S. Embassy in a car ut we couldn move forward for all of the people. There were people hanging on everywhere!?6 After his father was arrested and taken away later that year, Doan continues, veryone was just going crazy. There were rumors of executions.? His mother was afraid that his father would not be released until he was dead. His uncle, a famed anti-communist fighter was only released after he had become extremely ill. By that time, the Vietnamese torturers had already pulled out all of his teeth trying to get him to tell about his activities. When he was recovered by his family, Doan uncle was nothing but skin and bones due to lack of nourishment.
Around 1984, Rick Doan father was finally released. That same winter Doan grandparents came over the States as part of a family reunification program signed by Vietnam and the U.S. government in the late 1970s. U.S. Congress, alas, allowed this reunification program to expire that same year so at the time of the March 1985 interview it was not yet clear whether or how Doan father would make it out of Vietnam to rejoin his family.
With recognition of formal relations between the U.S. and Vietnam in the 1990s under the Clinton Administration, the Rotary Club and other civic associations in America, such as East-Meets-West which gets funding from USAID, have been reaching out to Vietnam and have begun seeking how to come to terms with the past while working on development projects. Several veterans organizations, such as those groups seeking U.S. participation in a global-ban on mines, promote both development projects and de-mining efforts of some of the areas in Southeast Asia where American jets had previously dropped anti-personnel bomblets or where U.S. personnel had helped plant anti-personal mines on farming land and along trails during the longest war. Such mines have continued to wreak havoc in agricultural areas, even decades after the war. This reproachement has taken place even as Missing in Action (MIA) flags still fly over courthouses in small towns in many parts of the rural U.S. Until recently, MIA movement organizations had been one of the groups more antagonistic towards the Vietnamese government; however, many such groups have softened their stance in the last decade.
Issues of fairness, the draft registration, and conscientious objection in Post-Vietnam America
One domain of the Vietnam War that Hollywood has not yet made a centerpiece of one of its films in the post-Vietnam era is the issue of the draft and who should be expected to serve in the armed forces. Certainly, this is likely to be the case because without an ongoing actual draft, salience for most of the post-Vietnam American society has been missing. Also, for example, there has not yet been any war-film similar to the classic Sergeant York (1941), which was based on the true-story of a WWI conscientious objector who had become the most highly decorated American soldier in that war. With such a film Hollywood was obviously attempting to mobilize those young idealistic, isolationist or pacifistic opponents, who might be opposed the oncoming American participation in the Second World War. On the flip-side, although Hollywood has typically only cynically presented the image of the Vietnam wars on the screen, it has generally avoided making salient the issues of (1) conscientious objection to war and (2) the lack of fairness, in terms of who is called on to do military service, a theme. Such themes had been actively discussed by Americans during the 1960s and 1970s in songs like ortunate Son?.
Particularly, concerning the issue of fairness in military service, Dr. Larry Hickman on his oral history tape at Cushing Library discussed his part in the student protest movement in Texas in the 1960s. Long before he new of black civil rights issues, Hickman indicated that because he was raised in San Antonio, he had become aware of prejudice against Hispanics at a young age. In his interview on Vietnam era memories, which took place on the Texas A & M campus just over a month prior the start of the Gulf War in December 1990, Hickman claims that the reason for his not serving in the military during the Vietnam War was very likely the result of supply and demand in the San Antonio area from which the local Draft Board decided which young men would or could stay out of the draft. He explains that is draft board was in San Antonio and the draft board had a large number of Hispanics who could be drafted? Hickman interpretation of the historical and cultural context of 1960s America had led him to feel rather secure during his many appeals for several 2A deferments during the war. He generally felt that, with the large pool of non-college bound Hispanics in San Antonio, he would not likely become eligible for the draft.
John Adams, whose oral history is recorded in the military history section of Cushing Library and Archive, talks about why he enlisted during the Vietnam War and ended up going to Vietnam with Special Operations forces in 1966-1967. On the other hand, Adams explains that he ame from a very typical disadvantage background. People like myself had been advised by high school counselors to go into the army in the manner I was.? Adams is not at all apologetic about America role in Vietnam. He says, saw our involvement as just!o help others against military insurrection.? Concerning his own activities with the special forces groups in the war, he concedes that many of the later special operations forces units were not as well trained and disciplined as his had been. Nor did everyone in special forces have positive attitudes, especially support staff, like the infamous cook depicted in Francis Coppola Apocalypse Now (1979).
The lack of Hollywood interest in the draft and in related issues of fairness, in terms of who actually continues to serve and fight in wars, hasn meant that the discussion or debate of issues revolving either around the draft or conscientious objection to war have been absent from the public domain over the last two decades. These issues certainly played a factor in the discussions over whether it was right for the U.S. to send troops over to the Persian Gulf in the 1990s as an unusually high percentage of active forces and national guard reserves continued to consist of minorities and representatives of working class or poorer segments of society. In the months leading up to January 1991, numerous American soldiers either went AWOL or tried to declare themselves conscientious objectors before the U.S. Senate, with strong opposition from Massachusetts?Senator Jim Kerry and others who had fought in Vietnam, finally approved George Herbert Walker Bush request for a declaration of War on Iraq. Meanwhile, the black Air Force reserve officer, Dr. Yolanda Huet-Vaughn, became one of the most out-spoken reservists attempting to obtain conscientious objectors status prior to her arrest for opposing duty in the Gulf War.
The makers of Forrest Gump, both the 1994 movie and the movie soundtrack which looked back at America tumultuous Vietnam era Baby Boomers, certainly did not accidentally select the ironically titled song ortunate Son? This song was originally written and played by Creedance Clearwater Revival during the Vietnam War. This song recognized and popularized the fact that the most unfortunate members in society are often the ones asked often to serve and die in war.
Major resistance to the draft and a renewed call for a clear new federal statement (and legislation) on conscientious objection in post-Vietnam America began in 1980, the final full year of the Carter presidency. That was the year when male citizens, who were born in 1960 and 1961, were first required to register for selective service. The previous registration program had been terminated by Gerald Ford in 1975, the year the Vietnam War had ended and three years after the last military draft had taken place. The U.S. Selective Service had been planning to renew registration in 1976 but Congress had cut its funding. By the spring of 1980, growing resistance to the draft–and registration for selective service–by many young conscientious objectors was already being reflected by the large number of nineteen and twenty year olds meeting under an umbrella of organizations. Many of such anti-war or peace organizations were spearheaded early on by some of the older American objectors who had been involved in these same issues during the Vietnam era.
According to Marc Becker, between 1964 and 1973, the U.S. Selective Service had reported to the Justice Department over 200,000 draft violators . By spring of 1981, as the second round of selective service registration, for those born in 1962, had been concluded, U.S. Selective Service reported that the compliance rate for young men was at a new all-time low of eighty-seven percent. It was also noted that the number of American males who were actually registering on time was even significantly less than this. On- and off college campuses around the country students were publicly discussing the possibility of a draft during the Ronald Reagan presidency, an administration which was appearing (1) ever more pro-active militarily, (2) ever more active working covertly through clandestine CIA efforts in Latin America, and (3) more belligerent, in terms of rhetoric, than any other presidency in nearly a century. According to Becker, author of esistance to Draft Registration 1980-1985? in the wake of the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, responses to the hawkish developments in America throughout 1980 were many. For example, in March of that year some thirty-thousand people on a single day had marched on the White House against the registration and the draft.
Interestingly, Ronald Reagan had previously taken a libertarian stand against Selective Service registration during his presidential campaign; nonetheless, as president in January of 1982 Reagan did an about-face. According to Edgar Metzler, the Mennonite Churches Director for Peace and Social Concerns, this happened when Reagan apparently decided that the large number of non-registrants was sending the rong signal?to the Soviet Union. After providing a three month grace period, the Justice Department began to selectively prosecute non-registrants who had made their non-registration public, i.e. They had made their refusal to register a public act in order to raise consciousness in others and to signal to both the society and the government that selective service registration was to be resisted on either philosophical, pacifist, social, ethical, or political grounds.
Finally, the U.S. Congress passed the Solomon Amendment, which went into effect in summer 1983, effectively making all university financial aid offices in the United States an arm of the Justice Department by requiring all incoming males to sign a document stating that they were registered with Selective Service. If a student failed to sign such a document, the Solomon Amendment made it illegal for that student (and that institution) to receive federal funding for university studies or for any technical training supported by federal dollars. This focus on technical training moneys seemed especially targeted at less idealistic and poorer populations in American society, i.e. it is poorer or poorly educated Americans who regularly participate more in such technical training than those peoples who come from the wealthier general population. In response, several American universities founded by the raditional peace churches?and recognized as such in previous wars by Congress (including the Mennonites, the Quakers, and the Bretheran in Christ churches), subsequently raised private donations to offset aid lost by those conscientious objectors to the draft registration who had lost their anticipated college funding under the Solomon Amendment at their respective universities.
It is interesting that by hitting at the pocket books of universities and Americans through the threat of taking away government money from higher levels of education, the 1983 Solomon Amendment and congressional leaders were following a practice used in the pre-Vietnam era of using a stick and carrot to entangle university officials in the process of recruiting. It was argued by Solomon and other supporters of the legislation that for both the benefit of America military preparedness and its ability to signal to the world America continuing readiness to go to war against the vil Empire?of Communism. For example, in discussing his Harden-Simmons Seminary in Abilene experience from 1964-1965 in his oral interview, Larry Hickman described how Harden-Simmons at that time required every new student to become a member of the ROTC once they began attending that school in order to provide a competitive low cost education to all of its students.
Throughout the 1970s universities and institutions across the U.S. continued to get further and further entangled in federal moneys and this dependency was even more wide-spread by the early 1980s as the federal and state governments significantly reduced their commitment to higher education in terms of direct grants while focusing more on federal loans. In short, as the price of higher education was rising significantly because the Baby Boom generation was leaving the educational scene as students in droves. With the Vietnam War end, universities across America became more and more dependent on federal funds supporting student enrollment.
The only art form, which thrived throughout the 1980s and 1990s in terms of discussing the issues related to the draft and conscientious objection, was the political cartoon. Nationally recognized Gary B. Trudeau , author of the Doonesbury strip, and other popular regional political cartoonists, such as the Dayton Daily News?Mike Peters, led the pack. When courts began to hand down indictments against those first fifty conscientious objectors who had previously either notified the Selective Service of their intention not to register or had made their opposition to the draft public in other ways, Marc Smucker at Goshen College in Alliance, Ohio became the first non-registrant sentenced on October 26, 1982. Judge Ann Aldrich subsequently sentenced Smucker to three years probation, two years of service but he was still not required to register.
When Smucker chose to do his community service at a center for retarded adults, Chuck Ayers drew a political cartoon with generals, colonels, and admirals from the various armed forces inside a ar Room?and with Smucker being motioned inside to serve the etarded adults? One officer is raving about the MX missile, saying that it is the only option for America. Another officer is yelling out the infamous phrase: e have to destroy the Village to save it!? The one, who is sitting down, growls; nuclear war is winnable, you know . . . I sure we could win one!? The man in the corner in full admiral regalia is shouting: he Draft!! We need the Draft!!? The allusion to Vietnam in the ave the village?statement is obvious–and is reminiscent to the finally in Francis Ford Coppola Apocalypse Now. In this 1979 Vietnam classic, the main protagonist calls in the bombs to destroy an ancient settlement in Cambodia. (Meanwhile, the discussion of missiles and nuclear war are actually more reflective of the Carter-Reagan arms build-up of the early 1980s which resulted in very popular Nuclear Freeze and Free-Zone movements in the U.S. and an anti-U.S. missile campaign in Western Europe.)
Its Still There in 1991-2001!–The Long Shadow of Vietnam Continues
By January 1991, over 2500 soldiers and reservists had applied for conscientious objector status as the U.S. entered the Gulf War. Nevertheless, even those recruits, such as Danny Gillis, who since become known as Kweisi Raghib, who already ad applied for CO status? were called up for active duty. Likewise Clarence Davis, who had been given a choice by his judge at nineteen years to either go to jail or to enlist, was called up. (Only six months after he entered the military, the invasion of Kuwait had taken place and Davis had changed his mind–but like most recruits he did not even know that applying for CO status was an option until after he found himself in Saudi Arabia.) Davis wrote the following note before turning himself over to his commanding officer to be locked up: can never support the same country or thought that killed millions of Native Americans, Vietnamese, Japanese. . .?
That same year, speaking at West Point, General Norman Schwarzkopf laid out the military dilemma, irplanes don fly, tanks don run, ships don sail, missiles don fire unless the sons and daughters of Americans make them. It just that simple.? Despite the apparent success of the all-volunteer military effort in the Gulf War, America all-volunteer army, an artifact of the Vietnam War, U.S. recruitment of troops did not do well throughout most of the 1990s. Spike Lee was even signed on by the Army to do recruiting commercials. Later, Ricky Martin was also sponsored in several concerts by army recruiters who were targeting Puerto Rican youth in New York City. This recruitment through pop culture was to no or little avail; recruitment did not rise until the recession of 2001 began to set in and in response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center Towers and Pentagon took place on September 11 of that year. This was certainly a bit surprising as by the year 2000 the military recruitment budget in the U.S. was running over 2 billion dollars a year. By 2001, a Newsweek magazine editorialist was calling for women to be required to sign up for the selective service and to be drafted in the near future.
In the meantime, just as the children of the Vietnam-era parents had become active in the anti-registration movement of the early 1980s, by the first decade of the 21st Century, children of the Gulf War objectors, many of whom had served time in jail and had received counseling from Vietnam-era veterans, had also begun to be active in anti-recruitment and anti-ROTC movements at high schools around the country. For example, in Johnson County, Kansas in spring 2001, Emilano Huet-Vaugh, son of the court-martialed Desert-Storm resister, Dr. Yolanda Huet-Vaughn, could be found leading a campaign in the Shawnee Mission, Kansas school system calling for the elimination of Navy Junior ROTC and drill teams. The campaign he led was also claiming that besides setting a bad example, the ROTC program was an economically unsound use of district funds.
Early on, as the nation was heading towards the Gulf War in 1990, Gulf era, soldiers had begun turning toward organizations, such as the Vietnam Veterans of America for advice on what to do. This became very important in the wake of the growing awareness of the usage of large amounts of toxic chemicals in that war and as symptoms of what soon became know as the Gulf Syndrome began to be monitored in returnees. Vietnam Veterans, with their experience with both Agent Orange and Napalm in Vietnam, were able to point medical investigators and affected Gulf veterans towards the root causes of their suffering. This marks another Post-Vietnam era development as, unlike in the period leading up to the Vietnam War, the American Legion (one of the ig Three?veterans groups–which includes American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled Americans) has now become more prominently critical of government policy than ever before in its history .
Finally, in Spring 2001 Bob Kerry, former senator from Nebraska, a former Democratic presidential candidate and likely one of the most famous disabled American War heroes from Vietnam, revealed his great personal shame. In other words, on the twenty-sixth anniversary of the fall of Saigon in April 2001, Bob Kerry, the decorated war veteran, once again led the nation to consider its Vietnamese memories as he confessed to having been involved in war atrocities–atrocities now all too familiar to most Americans from films like Platoon, Casualties of War(1989) and Born on the Fourth of July. Bob Kerry apologized for misleading the public as to his Navy Seal leadership in an incident that is now called a massacre of twenty civilians in the village of Thanh Phong. It is interesting to note that there were hardly any calls in 2001 for Kerry to face a war-crimes trial as William Calley, the architect of some three-hundred-fifty unarmed Vietnamese civilians in My Lai, had faced some thirty years earlier. It should also be noted that only the year before, Kerry had claimed that the real shame of the Vietnam War was how Americans had turned its backs on those who had served in Vietnam, . However, as Kerry finally confessed to his own share of war crimes, resulting from both his own youthful naivety and the suspect practices of Navy Seal counterinsurgency (which involves torture, terror and assassination), an embarrassed shame was mentioned everywhere in the press and wherever the continuing memory of the Longest War was debated.
In conclusion, various forms of the Vietnam syndrome are still very present as America current War on Terrorism precedes. For example, Americans continue to demand that American body counts always be kept small. Attempts to create fictional heroes for Vietnam in the form of Rambo , Forrest Gump, or the successful battalion that finally took Hamburger Hill (1988) have failed. As wars continue, cynicism about government remains prevalent. This is the case despite the boost to American selfoncept that the headiness of the early Reagan years, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and the subsequent quick the defeat of Iraq had brought. Attempts to white-wash the difficulties in America divided memory of Vietnam, such as Ronald Reagan 1984 speech which finally inaugurated the controversial Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C., have made little inroads while a tendency towards much silence on the war remains. This is seen by the apparent general lack of continuing public debate over the issues of fairness, justice, and appropriate foreign policyll issues which the Vietnam War raised. This is especially true in terms of failing to wage a prolonged discussion over what it means in the post-Cold War era to be an active and involved Superpower. On the other hand, some veterans from the Vietnam War, such as those who have recently joined the U.S. Vietnam Veterans Fund, are indeed busy working for reconciliation of their deeds and memories by removing tons of unitions abandoned by troops in the conflict which ended? so many years ago in Southeast Asia.
The right to protest in America is also very much alive and both modern television and internet technology make it harder for government spin to discolor actual events on the ground. Protest groups seem much more mature and others mature quickly in organizing various actions concerned with war and foreign policy related issues. Both the nuclear freeze movement and the anti-Gulf War movement were examples of this. Hollywood has only recently begun to be uncritical of the U.S. government foreign policy endeavors in ways similar to how it had behaved in the years immediately leading up to WWII, when it began mobilizing the American home front, through Hollywood making of John Wayne Green Berets in 1966. Finally, calls for American involvement in wars to be relatively short can be contrasted with the growing willingness for the U.S. government to send forces overseas to be involved in peacemaking missions–rather than war-making missionsver seas.
Sadly, all this soon could be changing as a recent un-scientific poll of Marines shows. In that particular survey, some seventy-nine percent of the respondents felt that the current War on Terrorism will take at least two years or moreith a majority of those participating in the survey believing that the War on Terrorism will continue for much longer than a just a few years . Potentially such a continued mobilization could eventually leave the nation with a level of militarization and mobilization roughly equal to that which America experienced during the Cold-War and which eventually led to the Vietnamese quagmire in the country future. Hopefully, none of this will remain in the nation immediate future.
(1) Sterling Morrison. Rec. Fall 1984. Interviewer Karl Pallmayo. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral Historyietnam Generation Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas.
(2) Joseph Saranello. Rec. 28 Oct. 1985. Interviewer Stephanie D. Rock. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral Historyietnam Gerneraion Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas.
(4)Mark Troy. Rec. 12 May 1993. Interviewer Marshall McInnis. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral Historyietnam Generation Section , Texas A & M University, College Station.
(5) Martin Wiginton. Rec. 9 Nov. 1985. Shawn Rayborn. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral Historyietnam Generation Section , Texas A & M University, College Station.
(7)Michael Frisch. merican History and the Structures of Collective Memory: A Modest Exercise in Empirical Iconography.?The Journal of American History, 75:4 (1989): 1131.
(8)George C. Herring. America Longest War 1950-1975. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986.
(9)A great compliment to standard histories of the Vietnam War years of the 1960s and early 1970s for any seminar, because of its more ground level approach to the various anti-war, radical and reactionary experience at the home front describing a more popular experience, would be Terry W. Anderson. The Movement and the Sixties: Protest in America from Greensboro to Wounded Knee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
(10) John Robert Greene. The Presidency of George Bush. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, (2000): 102.
(11)Interestingly Walt Rostow, former National Security Advisor under Lyndon Johnson, claims that Johnson fully understood the precepts now employed under the Powell Doctrine: ne thing a politician knows [is] that if he gets involved [in a war] unless it is quick, he will lose in the polls.? Walt Rostow. Rec. 2 May 1986. Interviewer Albert La More. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral Historyietnam Generation Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas.
(12)John Adams adds that Rapid deployment forces that were perfected in Vietnam were the backbone of the U.S. forces that invaded Grenada just weeks after the loss of U..S. troops in Beirut. John Adams. Rec. 19 Nov. 1985. Interviewer William J. Johnson, Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral Historyilitary History Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas.
(14)Capt. Jasper Pennington. 22 April 2001. Private interview in Killeen, Texas with Kevin Stoda.
(15) Joseph Roquemore. History Goes to the Movies. New York: Doubleday Books, (1999): xv-xvi.
(17)Anderson (p. 319) notes that Jane Fonda, herself, had become a symbol synonymous with The Movement or even pro-communism for many American conservatives during the Vietnam War. Anderson, on p. 372, writes: n San Diego, 1500 sailors on the carrier U.S.S. Constellation signed a petition demanding that antiwar actress Jane Fonda be allowed to perform her Fuck The Army show on the ship, and when the captain rejected that, some 4000 appeared at her rally in the city.?
(18)Chuck Corbett USAR. Rec. 20 Mar. 1986. Interviewer Chuck Corbett. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral History–Military History Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas. Unlike many of the Vietnam protagonists, including Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump, Ron Kovic in Born on the 4th of July, and the protagonist in Coming Home, Corbett was not physically injured.
(22) Walt Rostow, Walt Rec. 2 May 1986. Interviewer Albert La More. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral History–Military History Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas.
(23) The full text to Bruce Springsteen is essentially as follows. Some organizations tried hijacking (somewhat successfully) this especially bitter diatribe as a jingoistic anthem:
Born in the U.S.A.
Got into a hometown jam
So they put rifle in my hand
Sent me off to a foreign land
To go and kill the yellow man
Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man says on if it were up to me?br> Went down to see my V.A. man
He said on, don you understand, now.?br> I had a brother at Khe Sanh
Fighting off the Viet Cong,
They are still there he all gone.
He had a women he loved in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms, now
Down in the shadow of the penitentiary
Out by the gas fires of the refinery
I ten years burning down the road
Nowhere to run ain got nowhere to go
Born in the U.S.A
I was born in the U.S.A.
Bruce Springsteen, orn in the USA? Born in the USA, (Album Title Track), New York: Columbia Records, 1983.
(24)The Charlie Daniels?Band. till in Saigon? Windows, Nashville: Epic Records, 1983.
(26)Le Ly Hayslip, http://www.wic.org/bio/lhayslip.htm
(28)Rick Doan. Rec. 27 Mar. 1985. Interviewer Darren Rudolph. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral Historyietnam Generation History Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas.
(31)East Meets West: International Relief Services in Vietnam, http://www.eastmeetswest.org/faqs.htm
(32) Creedence Clearwater Revival. ortunate Son? Forrest Gump Soundtrack, Columbia House Records,1994. Fortunate Son, the title of a contentious book on the life of young George W. Bush and how he kept out of Vietnam, was also a popular title in the late 1990s. J.H. Hatfield and Mark Crispin Miller. Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President, 2nd Ed., U.S.A.: Soft Skull Press, 2001.
In retrospect. the CCR song ortunate Son?does appear to have been targeted at the likes of the Bush family. It tells of a poor man who is forced to go off to war because of his lack of fortune and good fortune. A selection of the song text is as follows:
Some folks are born made to wave the flag
Ooh, theye red, white and blue
And when the band plays ail to the Chief?br> Ooh, they point the cannon at you, Lord
It ain me, it ain me I ain no Senator son
It ain me it ain me, I ain no fortunate one
Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
Lord, don they help themselves, oh
But when the taxman come to the door
Lord, the house look like a rummage sale, yes
It ain me, I ain no millionaire son. . . .
(33) Dr. Larry Hickman. Rec. 6 Dec. 1990. Interviewer Kelly Wood. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral Historyietnam Generation History Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas. Dr. Hickman adds, however, that this belief is a unch Ie never been able to document.?
(34)John Adams. Rec. 19 Nov. 1985. Interviewer William J. Johnson. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral Historyilitary History Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas.
(36)Adams claims that contrary to popular belief Special Forces did their job .hey didn lose the war.?Ibid.
(37)Marc Becker. esistance to Draft Registration 1980-1985? Diss. Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas, (1985): 39-40. For this dissertation, Marc Becker hitchhiked more than six thousand miles and conducted fifty-seven interviews, all now in the possession of the Mennonite Library and Archives, Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas. Fred Loganbill and Chris Schenk were Vietnam era activists that set up the first call by Sojourners. At a conference in Goshen, Indiana a Draft Resisters Fund was set up.
(40)Edgar Metzler. Rec. 6 July 1984. Interview with Marc Becker. Audio Tape of Mennonite Library and Archives, Bethel College, Kansas. Like many of his colleagues of that era at Bethel College, non-registrant Marc Becker went on to become a renowned Professor of Latin American history after serving as a volunteer in Nicaragua working for Witness for Peace and later in Harlingen, Texas working with undocumented Latin American refugees for the Mennonite Central Committee.
(41)Lori Linenberger. raft Officials to et Tough?on Nonregistered? The Wichita Eagle-Beacon, 3 August 1982, 1E.
(42)In his dissertation, Becker, author of esistance? shows that all thirteen of those first indicted on college campuses for failing to register for draft had sent letters to Selective Service explaining their decision not to register to be an act of good conscience.
(44) Most accounting offices estimates that at most selective service registration could save only ten to fourteen days in terms of mobilizing and drafting registrants if a draft ever comes.
(45) The most ominous Gary Trudeau cartoon was the one in 1984 whereby the character Zonker was persuaded by Mike Doonesbury to go down to the Post Office and register for the Selective Service. On the back of the document received by Zonker at the post office was the question: f called upon by your country, would you be willing to give your life to protect the interest of U.S. oil companies??When challenged by Zonker, the postmaster says, t only hypothetical. Wee just trying to get a head count.? In less then seven years that humor would appear to many new recruits as a reality once Saddam Hussein ordered Iraqi forces into neighboring Kuwait in summer 1990. G. B. Trudeau (1984) Reprinted with permission in of Universal Press Syndicate in Marc Becker. esistance to Draft Registration? 17.
(46) Ibid.: 63-64.
(47) Chuck Ayers. ews Item? Akron Beacon Journal, 27 Oct. (1982), reprinted with permission, Ibid., 64.
(48)Betsy Esch. he Greatest Gulf War Heroes: In Honor of Our Resisters? Against the Current, printed in http://www.igc.apc.org/solidarity/atc/90Esch.html
(51) Ibid.: 1.
(53) It is interesting to note that had women been so prevalently serving in front lines in the 1980s, the Supreme Court would likely have thrown out the current Selective Service law as biased against males over femalesho are not required to register.
(54) Anna Quindlen ncle Sam and Aunt Samantha? Newsweek, 5 Nov. 2001, 76. In an editorial in a mainstream news magazine, Newsweek, with the title of the issue crying out, rotecting Americahat Must Be Done?nna Quindlan argues at length that that the U.S. now depends on women and women have already been serving in active combat roles for a decade. Therefore it s only simple fairness that women as well as men should be required to register for the draft.?In ncle Sam and Aunt Samantha?
It is interesting that this claim is now made. Had the editorialist opinion not been still uncommonplace in the early 1980s the current Selective Service law would have been thrown out by the Supreme Court in Goldberg v. Rotsker when the court decided that women were not allowed in combat; therefore, they need not be required to register for the all-male selective service.
As an aside, the author sister, Favel Stoda, had received three official warning letters from the selective service to register in the mid-1980s. Somewhat confused and perplexed, she had finally wrote back that she was a irl?and the Selective Service stopped writing her.
(55) Elaine Bessier, eadline News? The Johnson County Sun, http://www.sunpublications.com/sunnews/news4.html
(57)Ensign, Tod. ulf-Coverup Radicalizes Vets? Nonviolent Activist, http://www.warresisters.org/nva397-1.htm
(58) Ibid.: 3.
(60) Reed, Adolph L. ob Kerry, an American Shame? The Progressive, June 2000, http://www.progressive.org/reed0601.html
(61) Journalists were kept by the U.S. military from photographing the remains soldiers killed by a misdirected so-called mart bomb?in Afghanistan in December 2001
(62) Levi Smith. indow or Mirror: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Ambiguity of Remembrance?in Pter Homans ed., Symbolic Loss. USA: Unviersity of Virginia Press (2000): 112.
(63) .S. Vietnam War Veterans Launch Anti-Mine Project? World News from Australia, http://www.abc.net.au/ra/newsdaily/s220107.htm
(64) In answer to the question ow long do you think it will take the U.S. to win the war against terrorism?? 59% of those participating in the survey said that the war on ever end, we can just hope to contain it in our life time.?Sgt. Grit Marine survey Archives, http://www.grunt.com/surveyarchives.htm
Adams, John. Rec. 19 Nov. 1985. Interviewer William J. Johnson, Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral Historyilitary History Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas.
Anderson, Terry W. The Movement and the Sixties: Protest in America from Greensboro to Wounded Knee. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
Apocalypse Now . Dir. Francis Coppola ; Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Marlon Brando Paramount Pictures, 1979.
Ayers, Chuck. ews Item? Akron Beacon Journal, 27 Oct. (1982).
Becker, Marc esistance to Draft Registration 1980-1985? Diss. Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas, (1985): 5.
Bessier, Elaine. eadline News? The Johnson County Sun, http://www.sunpublications.com/sunnews/news4.html
Born on the Fourth of July. Dir. Oliver Stone ; Tom Cruise, Warner Brothers, 1988.
Creedance Clearwater Revival, ortunate Son? Forrest Gump Soundtrack. USA: Columbia House, 1994.
Corbett, Chuck USAR. Rec. 20 Mar. 1986. Interviewer C. Corbett. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral History–Military History Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas.
Doan, Rick. Rec. 27 Mar. 1985. Interviewer Darren Rudolph. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral Historyietnam Generation History Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas.
East Meets West: International Relief Services in Vietnam, http://www.eastmeetswest.org/faqs.htm
Ensign, Tod. ulf-Coverup RadicalizesVets? Nonviolent Activist, http://www.warresisters.org/nva397-1.htm
Esch, Betsy. he Greatest Gulf War Heroes: In Honor of Our Resisters? in Against the Current, http://www.igc.apc.org/solidarity/atc/90Esch.html
Forrest Gump produced by Wendy Finerman, Steve Tisch, Steve Starkey ; directed by Robert Zemeckis ; screenplay by Eric Roth. Hollywood, Calif. : Paramount Pictures, 1994.
Frisch, Michael. merican History and the Structures of Collective Memory: A Modest Exercise in Empirical Iconography.?The Journal of American History, 75:4 (1989): 1130-1155.
Green Berets. Dir. John Wayne; John Wayne, Universal Studios, 1966.
Greene, John Robert. The Presidency of George Bush. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, (2000): 102.
Hamburger Hill. Dir. John Irwin; Michael Patrick Boatman, Universal Pictures, 1987.
Hatfield, J.H and Miller Mark Crispin, . Fortunate Son: George W. Bush and the Making of an American President, 2nd Ed., U.S.A.: Soft Skull Press, 2001.
Heaven and Earth Dir. Oliver Stone ; Tommy Lee Jones, Warner Brothers, 1993.
Hickman, Larry. Rec. 6 Dec. 1990. Interviewer Kelly Wood. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral History? Vietnam Generation History Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas.
Herring, George C. America Longest War: United States and Vietnam 1950-1975. 2nd Ed. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986.
Hayslip, Le Ly. http://www.wic.org/bio/lhayslip.htm
Linenberger, Lori. raft Officials to et Tough?on Nonregistered? The Wichita Eagle-Beacon, 3 August 1982, 1E.
Metzler, Edgar. Rec. 6 July 1984. Interview with Marc Becker. Audio Tape of Mennonite Library and Archives, Bethel College, Kansas.
Morrison, Sterling. Rec. Fall 1984. Interviewer Karl Pallmayo. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral History–Military History Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas.
Platoon. Dir. Oliver Stone; Charlee Sheen, Tom Berengon, William Defoe MGM Home Entertainment Inc. and Hemdale Film Corporation, 1986.
Quindlan, Anna. ncle Sam and Aunt Samantha? Newsweek, 5 Nov.2001, 76.
Roquemore Joseph. History Goes to the Movies. New York: Doubleday Books, (1999):.
Rostow, Walt Rec. 2 May 1986. Interviewer Albert La More. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral History–Military History Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas.
Saranello, Joseph. Rec. 28 Oct. 1985. Interviewer Stephanie D. Rock. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral Historyietnam Generation Section , Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas.
Smith, Levi. indow or Mirror: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Ambiguity of Remembrance?in Peter Homans ed., Symbolic Loss. USA: University of Virginia Press (2000): 105-125.
Seargent York. Dir. Howard Haw; Gary Cooper, 1941.
Springsteen, Bruce. orn in the USA? Born in the USA, (Album Title Track), New York: Columbia Records, 1983.
The Charlie Daniels?Band. till in Saigon? Windows, Nashville: Epic Records, 1983.
Troy, Mark. Rec. 12 May 1993. Interviewer Marshall McInnis. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral Historyietnam Generation Section , Texas A & M University, College Station.
.S. Vietnam War Veterans Launch Anti-Mine Project? World News from Australia, http://www.abc.net.au/ra/newsdaily/s220107.htm
Wiginton, Martin. Rec. 9 Nov. 1985. Shawn Rayborn. Audio Tape of Cushing Library and Archives: Oral Historyietnam Generation Section , Texas A & M University, College Station.