Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Rough Draft Wins
After nearly four months of persistent effort, the GI paper Rough Draft has succeeded in winning its right to conduct open, public distribution at Ft Eustis.
The Ft Eustis brass had tried numerous tactics in order to delay or defeat the request. (See July 24 and Aug. 7 issues of GI Press Service.) This had included demanding to know the names of the editors and of the people who would do the distributing, in the hope that the paper would refuse to reveal the information and give the brass a pretext for turning down the request.
But two former GIs and their wives agreed to act as distributors and to be named in the request. Finally the brass caved in and granted permission for the current issue of the paper to be distributed in front of the post theater between 6 and 8 p.m. during the week of August 26. The letter granting permission stated that separate requests would have to be submitted for each future issue.
The victory at Fort Eustis is a milestone for the entire GI movement. This is the first time that a GI paper has been openly circulated on base with the permission of the brass. (In July, formal permission to distribute a paper at Ft Huachuca, Ariz., was granted, but the brass discharged the distributor a day early and refused to allow him back on post -- see the Aug. 7 GI Press Service.) It proves that it is possible to force the brass to respect the constitutional rights of GIs.
And the victory at Ft Eustis sets a precedent that will make it harder for the brass to refuse similar requests at other bases.
GI Press Service, vol. 1, no. 7