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Jenn Smith

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Oct 24, 2003, 4:12:31 AM10/24/03
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To whom it may concern:
My name is Jennifer, and I am in the 11th grade. For my U.S.
History class we are doing research papers, and I have chosen the
Vietnam War for my paper. However, we are to choose a very
specific topic, and I was wondering what some of the main points,
aspects, or pivotal points in the Vietnam War were.To be honest, I
do not know much about this war, but am very interested in
learning more, hence why I chose this topic.I was also wondering
if you would be able to explain to me how and why this war
started, and so on.Thank you very much for taking the time to read
this, and if you have the time, I would appreciate it if you would
be able to possibly answer some of my questions stated above.
Again, thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing from you
soon.
Jennifer Smith
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redvet

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Oct 24, 2003, 6:16:59 PM10/24/03
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"Jenn Smith" <livin4...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:n9nhpv46dmrd4cegk...@4ax.com...

> To whom it may concern:
> My name is Jennifer, and I am in the 11th grade. For my U.S.
> History class we are doing research papers, and I have chosen the
> Vietnam War for my paper. However, we are to choose a very
> specific topic, and I was wondering what some of the main points,
> aspects, or pivotal points in the Vietnam War were.To be honest, I
> do not know much about this war, but am very interested in
> learning more, hence why I chose this topic.I was also wondering
> if you would be able to explain to me how and why this war
> started, and so on.Thank you very much for taking the time to read
> this, and if you have the time, I would appreciate it if you would
> be able to possibly answer some of my questions stated above.
> Again, thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing from you
> soon.
> Jennifer Smith

Aloha,
I have a much different perspective than many of the vets who may
be contacting you . We were certainly losing the war when I left
in February of 1970.

In 1971 the Armed Forces Journal published a shocking (and now
famous) article on "The Collapse of the Armed Forces." In a note
accompanying the piece the Journal's editors wrote that they had
some reservations about running it, but they said these were minor
when compared to the importance of solving what had
become a dire problem for the Army. The opening lines of this
article penned by Col. Robert D. Heinl capture some of the crisis
atmosphere in the upper reaches of U.S. war planners at the time:
"The morale, discipline and battle worthiness of the U.S. Armed
Forces are, with a few salient exceptions, lower and worse than at
any time in the century and possibly in the history of the United
States. By every conceivable indicator, our army that now remains
in Vietnam is in a state approaching collapse, with individual
units avoiding or having refused combat, murdering their officers
and non-commissioned officers, drug-ridden, and dispirited where
not near-mutinous.
Elsewhere than Vietnam, the situation is nearly as serious. (1971,
p.30)" You might be interested to learn that as early as 1969,
Vietnam veterans became active in various anti-war groups and by
1970 they had begun to take a role in the leadership of the
movement. One group of vets who have remained politically active
from that era is Vietnam Veterans Against the
war/Anti-Imperialist. We sponsor a web site at; www.oz.net/~vvawai
There you can find an on-line version of "StormWarning",
V.V.A.W./A-I.'s quarterly magazine. Issue number 31 would
be most relevant for your interest in that period. It is a
compilation of some of the actions which took place during that
time by returning vets as well as the experiences of vets 'on the
ground' during their tour.
Another fascinating source is the "Broken Rifle Press" web site.
'Broken Rifle' has books and videos of the GI and veterans
anti-war movement. Among them is a video of the "Winter Soldier
Investigations". It paints a disturbing picture of what it was
like to fight a losing guerrilla war by the grunts who were there.
My favorite video from that collection is the vets demonstration
in Washington D.C. which was called 'Dewey Canyon III'. In April
1971, thousands gathered as 'Nam vets threw their metals back at
the U.S. government on the capital steps and demanded an immediate
end to the war. The "Broken Rifle Press" web site address
is; http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/brp A further
resource that is available is Michael Searcy's history of that
demonstration and the event's which lead up to it. The paper is
approximately ten pages in length and we can email you a copy upon
request. A more civilian orientated approach to that era can
be found at "The '60's Project". Its web address is
http://lists.village.virginia.edu/sixties/ . If there is time,
here is a short book list. These books are available, or can be
ordered, through any 'chain' bookstore.

The Tunnels of Cu Chi
Tom Mangold, John Penycate

Days of Decision: An Oral History of Conscientious Objectors
Gerald R. Gioglio

Busted: A Vietnam Veteran in Nixon's America
W.D. Ehrhart

Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans
Wallace Terry

Let the Good Times Roll: Prostitution & the U.S. Military in Asia
Saundra Pollock

My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre & Its Aftermath
Seymour Hersh

Fire in the Lake
Frances Fitzgerald

Finally, you may wish to check out "Hearts and Minds", which won
an Oscar for the best documentary in 1975. It is rentable at
BlockBuster.

redvet
Facilitator

Vietnam Veterans Against the War/Anti-Imperialist
http://www.oz.net/~vvawai/
Hawaii Chapter

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