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National Guardsmen, Reservists Sign Anti-War Statement
Berkeley Calif., Aug. 15
More than one thousand National Guardsmen and Reservists from all over the country have signed a petition calling for immediate, total withdrawal from Vietnam.
The petition is the first large public war protest by officers and men from the Reserves and Guard. The signers come from all seven branches of the U. S. military Reserves: the Air and Army National Guard, and the Army, Navy, Air-Force, Marine and Coast Guard Reserves.
Their statement also calls for the withdrawal of American troops and advisors from other countries besides Vietnam: “We don't want Guatemala, Thailand, or Bolivia to become the Vietnams of the l970's. One Vietnam is enough.”
(The petition's signers are members of the Reservists Committee to Stop the War. The California-based organization was in the news recently when it sued the Defense Department, asking the expulsion of 130 Senators and Congressmen from the Reserves on Constitutional grounds. The case is still pending.)
Of the more than one thousand soldiers who signed the petition, fifty-one are officers, and forty-nine are veterans of Vietnam. A number of the latter are decorated combat veterans: one is a former 101st Airborne Division lieutenant with a Silver Star and two Bronze Stars.
“We wear the same uniform as the American troops being killed and maimed every day in Vietnam,” the statement says, “We want those soldiers home alive. We demand total withdrawal of all our fellow American soldiers from Vietnam now. Not just combat troops, not just ground forces, but all troops.”
Besides organizing this petition and the lawsuit about the Congressmen, the Reservists Committee to Stop the War also publishes a monthly newsletter, distributes information to soldiers about organizing, legal rights and Conscientious Objector applications, and is involved in several other legal actions against the military.
Reservists Committee To Stop The War Newsletter, no. 2