Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Express Your Opinion
The expressing of opinion is every person's right. And every person has the right to have his opinions heard. When the right is denied, an outlet must be provided. The Army has denied the right. This paper provides the outlet. These very words and their printing are individuals exercising their right to express their opinions. We think that we are quite capable of thinking for ourselves and we don't like being told when to talk, what to speak about and whom to speak with. When you disagree with an NCO or officer on some matter, you usually lose the argument as soon as that NCO or officer is tired of listening to you and tells you to shut up.
Is this the part of the Army that maddens you the most, the part which tells you that you are not smart enough to think for yourself, or say what you feel or do what you think is right? Let's get off our knees, stand up, and open our eyes and maybe everything won't LOOK SO HOPELESS! Maybe–at least we hope– you are already looking around. Many GIs unfortunately become second-class citizens and do their time, like any good convict would, just keeping out of trouble and not bothering to get involved. Cover your ass! Just the Lifer game all over again.
Everyone in the Army is committed to defend freedom. “We are defending freedom in Viet Nam,” in the “outpost of Freedom” (Berlin) and the world over. And yet we, the defenders of this freedom, are not free!
We, those of us behind this publication, are tired of catching hell and seeing daily injustice, and we are tired of nobody giving a damn about what we say. We, therefore, are beginning to publish with this issue a protest paper. We would like to look upon it as a series of truth and dissent papers directed to point out the many discrepancies and injustices in our military system. It is also a purpose of this paper to arouse interest among our fellow GIs, to get the cobwebs out of our heads and get us at least thinking about the world around us.
What we have to say will no doubt effect each person in a different way. Many will consider us” subversive and radical, others will think us wasting our time, and others won't even think. Some will perhaps say they agree with what we say but not enough to get involved or do anything about it. To these we direct our main attention and challange you to stop just complaining and get together and do something.
If there is one thing about the Army, which all of us realize, it is that everyone is constantly complaining and bitching about it. The Army takes people of various backgrounds from all over the States, puts them together, and the only thing which most of them can agree on is that the Army sucks. What is it about the Army that we all hate so much? Is it the work we do ( or don't do ), or is it something more than just the job we dislike? The GI Movement is growing as more men realize daily that conditions just aren't improving. The credibility gap looks like the Grand Canyon and everyday it seems to widen.
Newsweek, Feb.2, 1970, page 14, carries a detailed report of our fellow GIs in Viet Nam, who don't see eye–to–eye with everything the Army does. We too don’t buy the expression of “My country–right–or–wrong.” Rather we would like to the expression - “OUR LIVES * RIGHT THE WRONG!”
To the Army Brass, who might like to know our names and numbers so you can harass us and get us assigned to different duty stations, we would hope that you would instead consider what yau have done to displease so many people and cause the need for a GI Movement. Perhaps we are the sympton of your underlying disease. At least give us a little thought and have the consideration to read what we have written before you burn it.
* * * * * * *
THIS NEWSPAPER IS Y0UR PERSONAL PROPERTY! N0 ONE MAY LEGALLY TAKE IT AWAY FROM YOU. IF ANYONE TRIES TO HARASS YOU ABOUT IT, STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHT!
Up Against the Bulkhead, vol. 2, no. 10