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2017 Letters to the Wall

Philip Jones Griffiths’ Viet Nam

2016 National Book Award Finalist, Viet Thanh Nguyen:

“All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory . . . . Memory is haunted, not just by ghostly others but by the horrors we have done, seen, and condoned, or by the unspeakable things from which we have profited.”

Mission statement:

The Full Disclosure campaign is a Veterans For Peace effort to speak truth to power and keep alive the antiwar perspective on the American war in Viet Nam -- which is now approaching a series of 50th anniversary events. It represents a clear alternative to the Pentagon's current efforts to sanitize and mythologize the Vietnam war and to thereby legitimize further unnecessary and destructive wars.

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Please join us and TAKE THE PLEDGE: "I’m with Full Disclosure. I oppose the Pentagon campaign to re-write the history of the Vietnam War."

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This Month in History: 1967

June The Mobile Riverine Force becomes operational utilizing U.S. Navy ‘Swift’ boats combined with Army troop support to halt NLF usage of inland waterways in the Mekong Delta.

June 1 Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) is established. Originated by veterans who marched in the April 15 New York antiwar demonstration under this banner, it grew to 20-30,000 members and later published 1st Casualty (1971–1972) and then Winter Soldier (1973–1975). It became a significant opponent of the war.

Fort Sill – Pvt. Andy Stapp found guilty of refusing to obey an order to open his footlocker and surrender anti-war literature, was sentenced to 45 days at hard labor, reduction in pay grade and forfeiture of almost a month’s pay. See entries for July 31 and December 25, 1967.

June 2 During Operation Union II (launched May 26), six rifle companies from the 5th marines in a ‘search and destroy’ mission in the Que Son valley fought the PAVN. The PAVN suffered almost 500 KIA, but the Foxtrot Company of the 5th Marines’ 2nd Battalion proportionately lost more of its men than any other American infantry company during the Vietnam War; total American casualties were 71 KIA and 139 wounded.

Capt. Levy found guilty found guilty by a general court martial of disobedience, seeking to promote disloyalty and culpable negligence. On June 3, he is sentenced to three years at hard labor. See entries for December 28, 1966 and May 10-June 2, 1967.

June 23 More than 80 anti-war groups stage the first large-scale war protest in Los Angeles, which ends in clashes with riot police. A crowd of 10-15,000 clashes with 500 riot police outside President Johnson’s fundraiser at the Century City Plaza Hotel. Expecting only 1,000 or 2,000 protesters, the LAPD field commander later tells reporters he had been ‘astounded’ by the size of the demonstration. “Where did all those people come from? I asked myself.” 51 protesters are arrested, and scores are injured. The police attacked the marchers with billy clubs to disperse the crowd.

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" The Wall " - 1986 by Mike Hastie Army Medic Vietnam
Poster by Leslie Dwyer

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