A Matter of Conscience

January 19, 2014

Everybody makes choices.  Some of them matter for an hour, others for the rest of your life.  For thousands of young people forty years ago, the choice was to go to war in Vietnam or accept the consequences of refusing.

  1. Resisting the Draft - Coleman

    Some people went to war, some went to Canada, and others did alternative service. Coleman went to prison for refusing to fight. His memoir, “Spoke” tells the story of how he decided. 

    Average: 4.9 (17 votes)
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  2. Conscientious Objectors - Jim Fleming & Friends

    Most young men during the Vietnam era faced a choice, whether or not to be drafted into the US Armed Forces. For Jim Fleming, and his friends Robert Cardinaux and Mark Peterson, the chose to become Conscientious Objectors. They worked together in alternative service as psychiatric aides.

    Average: 4.9 (14 votes)
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  3. Bill Ayers on the Weather Underground

    Bill Ayers was a member of the Weather Underground, which set off a series of bombs around the country in protest against the Vietnam War. Ayers insists he was not a terrorist, since his objective was never to kill people. He believes his own actions showed restraint in comparison with the enormity of the harm he believed the Vietnam War was causing.

    Average: 4 (9 votes)
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  4. What It Is Like To Go To War - Karl Marlantes

    Back in 1969, Marine Karl Marlantes was dropped in the middle of a jungle in Vietnam - at the age of 23, put in charge of the lives of 40 other young men. He says he wasn't psychologically or spiritually prepared for that, or for what came after the war.

    Average: 5 (9 votes)
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  5. Dissent Then & Now - Tim O'Brien

    Novelist Tim O’Brien talks about the life-long consequences of the decisions the Viet Nam generation made in their twenties, and says it’s harder to effectively protest today.

    Average: 4.8 (6 votes)
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