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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

July General Westmoreland requests an additional 200,000 reinforcements on top of the 475,000 soldiers already scheduled to be sent to Vietnam, which would bring the U.S. total in Vietnam to 675,000. President Johnson agrees only to an extra 45,000.

July 4 300 Vietnam veterans hold a peace rally at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

July 7 North Vietnam’s Politburo makes the decision to launch a widespread offensive against South Vietnam. Conceived in three phases, the first phase involves attacks against remote border areas in an effort to lure American troops away from South Vietnam’s cities. The second phase (Tet Offensive of 1968) will be an attack against the cities themselves by NLF forces aided by PAVN (People’ Army of Vietnam; the army of the DRV or North Vietnamese) troops, in the hope of igniting a “general uprising” to overthrow the government of South Vietnam. The third phase involves the actual invasion of South Vietnam by PAVN troops coming from North Vietnam.

July 15 Rocket attack on the US airbase in Da Nang (Đà Nẵng) by PAVN results in 8 deaths, 175 wounded, 10 aircraft destroyed and 49 damaged.

July 29 A fire resulting from a punctured fuel tank kills 134 U.S. crewmen aboard the USS Forrestal in the Gulf of Tonkin, in the worst naval accident since World War II.

July 30 Gallup poll reported 52% of Americans disapproved of Johnson’s handling of the war, 41% thought the U.S. made a mistake in sending troops, and over 56% thought the U.S. was losing the war or the war was at an impasse.

July 31 Fort Sill – Andy Stapp’s second court martial for “breaking barracks restrictions” dismissed. See entries for June 1 and December 25, 1967.

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

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