The VVAW 50th Anniversary Guestbook
Five decades of struggle—and five decades of memories.
We realize everyone can't be in the same place for VVAW's 50th anniversary celebrations.
You can use the form below to share your memories and stories below to the VVAW web-site.
Share thoughts of fallen comrades, stories of VVAW actions, anything related to VVAW's 50 years of struggle.
We know you have the stories, take this opportunity to share them.
If you'd like to sign this guestbook, please use the form at the bottom of the page.
7/11/17 at 21:51— Tim Connelly writes:
I was with 142nd Med Det. Long Binh in 1971. We ran a dispensary. One day, the x-ray tech got some info in the mail from VVAW. Some literature along with a few buttons. I was hooked because I hated what the crap that was going on. I wish I still had that button.
7/11/17 at 23:50— Muriel Hogan and Fred Wallace writes:
Fred was a draft resister and an activist with CAMP in Chicago. I was an Air Force brat looking for allies on the left. VVAW recruited us because they needed help with research on Agent Orange. VVAW is a true working-class organization. It's been a wonderful ride!
7/12/17 at 07:19— Peter P Mahoney writes:
This is an old story. Back in 1973, I was on trial in Gainesville Florida for conspiracy to incite a riot at the Republican Convention in Miami Beach, the Gainesville 8 case.
I had just had a particularly bad day in court. The man I had considered to be my best friend had just turned up on the witness stand as an FBI informer, and proceeded to testify (and lie) against me.
After the court day, we were on our way for the marathon lawyer/defendant meetings that happened every day, and we stopped by a local pizza parlor to grab a couple of pies for the evening.
The guy behind the counter was classic redneck -- t-shirt, crew cut, beer belly, an American flag on the wall behind him. Needless to say, me and my fellow defendants were rather well-known in those parts in those days, and our bearded, pony-tailed, anti-war-buttoned appearance contrasted rather starkly with our pizza parlor host. As we were waiting for the pies, the man continually scowled at us in what seemed to be a particularly disapproving way; I was honestly worried he might jump over the counter and assault us, or maybe just refuse to sell us pizza.
I was wrong.
When the pies came, the man gave them to us, shook our hands, and wished us good luck. He also refused to take payment for the pies.
I needed that.
7/12/17 at 09:59— Katherine P. Meloan writes:
In memory of Thomas Bond Gerding, Sgt, 5th Marines, In country 1965- 1967. Tom embodied the highest ideals of the Marine Corps. He was a fierce warrior, a true and loyal friend and, somewhat paradoxically, a sweet and gentle soul. Tom was a fine musician, sharing his love and vision of peace through his music, and the example of his generous, selfless life. He died of a rare cancer, almost certainly from agent orange, while waiting patiently for years for a decision on his VA disability claim that never came. You are sorely missed and deeply loved Dearest Brother. Always and forever, Your Katie
7/12/17 at 10:54— Robert Lindstrom writes:
In 65-66 I was a corpsman with 2nd platoon, H/2/9 3rd Mar Div. We were digging in in the loose red soil near a ville outside Da Nang. I was right next to one of the platoon Sargeants. I had a modest hole, the Sgt went deep,laid some bamboo across the top,covered that with a C-rats jacket, and shoveled dirt over all that.
Next morning I awoke to a hell of a racket cursing and loud animal noises.
Seems a large hog had wandered across,and went through his cleverly camoflaged roof. An old Vietnamese farmer stood by shaking with laughter.
As the animal made his unceremonious escape, I said:"I know we been out here a long time Sarge,but GOD-DAMN SHE WAS UGLY!!!
7/12/17 at 11:55— Marc E. Chartier writes:
Corpsman, RVN, 1969
7/13/17 at 17:51— William M Kellogg. writes:
I was in Germany, 1962 to 1965. The "Overseas Weekly" was writing articles about issues in Vietnam. That is why I joined the VVAW. One of the guys in the 4th Armored Division.
7/14/17 at 16:26— Rich Kopro writes:
I've been a quite member of VVAW for several years. All I wish to say is RIP to my friend and classmate EUGENE HENDRICKS, USAF, shot down and killed in Vietnam.
7/14/17 at 21:39— Bill Tiwald writes:
I am a peace activist for what is now nearly 50 years. The Vietnam War Veterans and the Vietnam Veterans Against the War are the salt of the earth that make me proud.
7/15/17 at 20:09— Michael Nosera writes:
My favorite phrase: What're you going to do Lieutenant? Draft me and send me to Vietnam?
7/17/17 at 16:18— Jerry Gioglio writes:
Not feeling much like a civilian or a veteran, I came late to VVAW--not until the 1980s when vets of all stripes (combat, era, resisters, etc.,) began to share their stories...been a member since. Good people, on the right side of history; patriots waging peace, using the "weapons of the Spirit." Thank you.
7/18/17 at 03:46— Thomas [Tom] Baxter writes:
I was with the 618 and 509 HEM Co (GS) 1967-1969. Help start the local chapter in Tallahassee in 1970. Spent a lot of April-May 71 in DC. Stayed on for non-VVAW endorsed MayDay actions, got illegally detained and ended up getting $1000 for every night I spent imprisoned. Been a VVAW and ACLU member ever since. Any more Capitol Steps vets out there?
7/20/17 at 05:57— maurice simon writes:
drafted 68-69, 15 months in Nam; combat medic 1st infantry. member VVAW since 71 Suffolk County Community College, NY. bless the animals and those who save them.
7/21/17 at 07:30— Mike Woloshin, Chicago Chapter writes:
VVAW Memories: Becoming 1/4 of the Wright College Chapter (Sept. 1971); Maoists: On a working party to move the "Chicago Seed" office, dogs confined to office for security shit everywhere. One Maoist exclaimed, "It smells like pre-revolutionary China in here." I couldn't stop laughing! Does shit smell any sweeter after the Chinese revolution than before? (March 1973); Rejoined Chicago Chapter 1980; Bill Davis barbecuing stewing chickens tougher than old boots. Razzed him for that for years! Events: Milwaukee Chapter Campouts (1980's); Dewey Canyon IV (D.C. 1982); Anniversaries: 20th (Chicago 1987), 25th (NYC 1992), 30th (Chicago 1997), 35th (Milwaukee 2002), 40th (Chicago 2007). Remembering Brothers Passed: Bill Davis, Chris Molloy, Lee Channing, Mike Sutton, Dave Cline, Dave Curry, "Wacky Jack" McCloskey and too many others to list here.
7/23/17 at 14:46— Judy Posusney writes:
VVAW is so much a part of my life that I can't remember when it started. I just remember being a college student and vehemently anti-Vietnam war. My brothers from high school disappeared and those in college were next to go. The war made no sense to me or my working-class family. The government was the only one interested in the war and me and my friends were angry. To say the least. So every demonstration I could get to I did and loved it. I was able to shout yell and scream out now, or stop the war, or bring our boys home.
I was living in jersey city, NJ when I met dave blalock, and dave cline through my soon to be first husband mike grew. And I met more Vets after that...I was a singer in one anti imperialist group or another, and we sang at the bulk mail center in JC, NJ during the national strike. A number of Vets worked there.
My memory fails me a lot from then, but I can say that VVAW was always present at the demos, leading the fight. I will never forget the sights and sounds of them marching in cadence in Manhattan. The buildings echoed with the sound of their boots hitting the ground. Serious shit. Still gives me chills!
These men fought a war, came back, and then fought the establishment here at home. They fought to bring the rest of their brothers home. And against the lingering effects of agent orange...test, treat, compensate. Single type discharge for all Vets.
And they are still here and fighting for peace and justice.
Peace and love to you all.
7/23/17 at 17:20— Jack Mallory writes:
When I get the, "Thank you for your service," platitude, the only way I can respond politely is by telling myself that they are thanking me for my work with VVAW. That is the one thing I can be proud of from from my time in the "Vietnam" War. Thank you, brothers and sisters.
7/23/17 at 18:57— Helen Schneider Willey writes:
Guerilla theater in the main park (can't remember it's name this minute) in St Louis. Part of the idea of bringing-the-war-home thinking (for all those folks who could ignore the nightly news).
We'd have people out having a picnic on the grass. Then "soliders" would sweep down using the then-available-toy-guns-that-looked-real on those picnic-ers....just acting, no fake blood or anything.
Then, we'd hand stand up and hand-out flyers about ending the War.
Also, having those toys in the back of my car (ancient VW, so behind the seat and they'd poke up). Met vets that way, 'cause to the non-vet populace, these were toys. To a vet.....it was WTF's in the back of your car, lady?
7/23/17 at 19:29— Stiofain Goff writes:
About 1972, VVAW (L.A.) had a space at The Peace Action Committee office, believe it was on Arlington Blvd. It was in a largely in a black neighbour, half a block
away was a beer bar, it had great cheeseburgers and, I dare say, unbelievable peach!
As far as war: I landed in the night at Tan Son Nhut AB on 29 Jan '68.
7/24/17 at 02:44— tina braxton writes:
I wasn't a soldier. But I joined your marches, whenever possible. Brought my children, in their strollers. Very proud to share the streets with you.
7/24/17 at 08:04— Rick Chalek writes:
Member since January 1971, and "veteran" of Dewey Canyon III. Wherever my medals and ribbons 'live' today, I'm still proud to have divested myself of them on the Capitol steps that day in April. Proud to have sat directly behind John Kerry at both the Sen. Armed Svcs. and Sen. Foreign Relations Committee hearings that April, and even prouder to have made it to Nixon's "Enemies List." Peace in the World, please.