The Spitting On Returning Vietnam Soldiers Proven
It's been awhile since this story hit the press. An academic named Jerry Lembcke claimed to have examined newspaper accounts of the time and found no mentions of antiwar protesters spitting on Vietnam veterans; in fact, he claimed, the reports started after 1980, apparently in an attempt to discredit the antiwar movement.
Jim Lindgren of the Volokh Conspiracy smelled BS and did his own digging
Indeed, according to an August 27, 1967 New York Times article by Neil Sheehan, as part of military training in the national guard, soldiers were actually being drilled by being spat on, abuse to which they were instructed not to respond.
One of the more amazing stories of protester abuse of veterans (and one veteran’s violent response) were the attacks on Congressional Medal of Honor winners. In a March 14, 1968 column in the Bucks County Courier Times (and elsewhere), the head of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, WWII Medalist Thomas J. Kelly, reveals that even Medal of Honor winners have been abused and “spat upon as ‘monsters.’”
Great job by Lingren!
Labels: Jerry Lembcke, Spitting, Vietnam Veterans