Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Don't Be Scared Of The Civilians
Don't Be Scared Of The Civilians (they' re not scared of you) by David S. Earl, ex-2ndlt, U. S. Army Antioch College, Columbia, Maryland
Having been involved with the “movement” for about the past year, andhaving been an officer in the army up until three months ago, I have become aware of a trend that to me is disturbing. It seems that most people, when they are in the military, become distrustful of all civilians occasionally to the point of purposely avoiding any relationships with the entire outside-military. Sort of a blanket avoidance.
You may feel that you have been unjustly taken advantage of by civilians in the past. Most military towns, it is true, do make a living off the traditionally hard drinking and free spending GI. But, and this is important, this is not a valid reason for distrust of all civilians. It's kind of like bigoted, like saying that “the only Indian is a dead Indian.”
The fact is, there are many civilians that are interested in you, the malcontent or perhaps just unhappy GI, and are willing to do something to help you. I'm not talking about any sort of USO nonsense, now. What I mean is that there are' organizations that will be able to help you in problems that you may have, of any sort. There are lawyers if you get in legal troubles, churches and churchpeople, to keep your head squared away, and `they won t be giving you this patriotism and apple, pie line and they wont be wearing officer rank.
So, dig it. Don't let yourself be guilty of something that might hurt you. Most civilians are your friends, and some can help you a lot more than you may think in any problem that you have. Keep an open head, okay?
New Salute, October 1969