COLUMN SIXTY-NINE, MARCH 1, 2002
(Copyright © 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)
TO WAR: A History of The Vietnam Veterans' Movement, by Gerald
TO WAR A History of the Vietnam Veterans' Movement
by Gerald Nicosia is an epic presentation, not only of the narrative history
that chronicles the traumatic experience of Vietnam Veterans, but of those men,
who returned home, after blood, sweat and tears, to find chaos, ridicule, and
ambiguous contradictions of shame.
maimed, wounded, broken, and heartsick, many forced to watch buddies drop near
their sides, were now denied the all-inclusive cloak worn by former conquering
heroes. The VVs returned, not as glorified heroes with ticker-tape parades. They
returned to degradation, illness, drug addictions and guilt-ridden flashbacks.
drug addictions and guilt-ridden flashbacks.
passionate concept, deeply rooted in Gerald Nicosia's mind evolved into
readers, we know Gerald Nicosia as the author of the award wining Memory
Nicosia's concerned gaze now falls upon the thirty years of escalated activism
after war atrocity horror. The return of scarred heroes. The attempt to heal the
scar schism created in a generation that had never previously endured war and
could not imagine how it would be so victimized.
sweats replaced foxholes. Wheelchairs, amputation, drug addiction, stares,
hostility, and anonymity replaced guns, pride, medals, and companionship. Americans
were turmoiled. Anger soared. Tempers flared. Fear gripped young throats.
Veterans protested. Jan Barry Crumb founded the VVAW. The VFP organized a Peace
Parade. Now, they had the vision of ending all wars forever. Allegations by Dr.
Levy that the special forces were a cover for committed atrocities by the
American military in Vietnam, caused an uproar. Negotiation Now! bore a
masthead of Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Dr. M.L.K. Jr., Norman Cousins, John K.
Galbraith and William Shirer.
was a chaotic time. It was a heroic time. Operation
RAW slammed home old ghosts with vivid recollections of pain, horror, and
brutality. The Veterans' Movement bolstered by many who had endured the full
brunt of the war, flowed across America like a powerful river force; into our
living rooms, into our minds. The
collective soul shuddered.
Fonda, Mark Lane, Bob Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, John Forbes Kerry, and Karen
Burnstein became voices for the VVAW. War
crime testimonies inflamed. During the Winter Soldier Investigations, [For an
excerpt, click on /column68a.html
] horror spilled from trembling lips about the My Lai massacre. Raw nerve
endings were set afire..
price of war zoomed. Sick vets
manifested visibility. The public schooled on devious tactics, and the hot line
for Agent Orange victims and related illnesses. Now, young veterans joined
together, in heroic battles, on the home front. They campaigned for medical help and demanded compensation.
(These effects are still highly visible in cities with VV Hospitals.)
Complacency and lethargy would not be tolerated. Human guinea pigs were more
than disturbing. The movement had developed into even deeper philosophical and
it accurately delineates barbaric, and callous behavior, HOME TO
you, Gerald. This book reveals your
honest dedication. Anyone reading these facts will feel humbled.
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