Letters: Were Anti-War Protesters Anti-Soldier?

To say that “veterans returning to campus from Vietnam … were met with tear gas and derision” [“The Tug of War,” Fall 2010] is to continue the myth that anti-war protesters were anti-soldier.

Neither the tear gas nor the derision were aimed at soldiers or veterans. The tear gas went one way, rocks the other way, and derision went both ways, protesters against police and National Guard and vice versa, but the protest was against the war and the war- makers, not the soldiers caught in the mess.

True, Vets for Peace got the most respect, and in the middle of a street mob, anything might be said in the heat, but the protest was primarily aimed at those sending the soldiers, not the ones who went.

I am glad to hear that the campus now has better veterans’ services. If we had held on to the active involvement with veterans from the GI Bill era, we might have done better in the Vietnam era. Soldiers do not deserve the periodic neglect we hand out.

Gundega Korsts MA’72 Madison

Published in the Spring 2011 issue

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