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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!

Heresy II Began With A Whisper.

Heresy II began with a whisper. We heard that whisper when we saw the convoys pass by and saw that out of every deuce and a half, protruded hands stretched out, showing us the “V” sign, and we knew that there was a special kind of yearning there.

We heard that whisper when it occurred to us that everything humane and generous in us might not survive the special horrors of this barbarous war.

We heard the whisper again after all the “Character Guidance” sessions, and all the training films, and all the briefings and assertions and sermons from a CO, when we knew that it was all a tired barrage of phony and insulting propaganda and then the whisper was a kind of rage and indignation.

We heard the whisper when we saw the FTA’s written on the woodwork, along with the peace symbols showing “N.D.--Man Set Free,” and when we knew that this was the same kind of longing.

We heard the whisper again when we realized that only a few of us had not been lied to by an army recruiter, and prodded and cheated and cajoled, so that he could put a feather in his cap, and when we knew that point the Army had only begun to make all its false promises.

We heard the whisper rising above all the left-right-left and inspections and humiliations and the whisper told us that we were human, that what we wanted to feel was pride, not arrogance, that what we valued was dignity, not power, that what we respected was the content of a man’s character, not the merit badges on his sleeve.
Heresy II is an affirmation that we can no longer allow ourselves to be silent. Somehow these are not the times for being silent, and this is not the generation to expect others to do our talking for us.

Helping Hand, no. 10


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