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A Comrade, Friend and Brother
By Tom Wetzler
Many longtime VVAW members will remember John Kniffin as a Texas coordinator of VVAW and Gainesville Eight defendant.
John always told me that the most important part of his life was his relationship with his wife Cathy. He believed that she made it possible for him to grow and have peace. He knew how lucky he was in this.
John spent six years in the U.S. Marine Corps and did three tours in Vietnam, yet he deeply distrusted authority of any kind. He hated the war, but held a special affinity for fellow vets, especially Marine vets.
What drew many people to John was the fact that you could trust him. He was a private person who, along with his wife, opened his home to many. If John decided you were a friend, he was caring, understanding, forgiving, open to a fault, and willing to share anything.
John had a drive to continue to learn and grow in life. He challenged those around him to do the same. Sometimes he was hard on those close to him (as we all are), but at other times he'd be stunning with insight and gentleness. He was inspiring without being pretentious.
He was, for many in VVAW and out, a comrade, friend and brother.
The Gainesville Eight, John Kniffin lower right