Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vietnam GI's Mission

When my brother Jeff Sharlet created the first GI-led underground paper for active-duty GIs, Marines, sailors and airmen, he set out on an antiwar ‘mission’. He laid out his objective in an editorial in the first issue of Vietnam GI in January ’68. In his opening sentences, Jeff fired off the first shot: “We are veterans of the Vietnam War. From our experience we know the Administration has lied to us and other Americans.” He goes on to express the core of his mission statement, to wit, “[I]t seems like everyone has been heard from on the war except the main group which has been and still is fighting it – the enlisted men.” In effect, Jeff gave voice to the voiceless GIs.

Front page, first issue of Vietnam GI, January ’68:

Jeff’s antiwar mission statement:

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