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Date Posted: Fri, October 28 2005, 15:27:28
Author: Wayne
Author Host/IP: netcache-3001.bay.webtv.net / 209.240.205.60
Subject: Re: Lay of the Land, 60's
In reply to: Jennifer Reade 's message, "Research help" on Fri, October 28 2005, 2:35:43

Don't forget the lay of the land during the sixties while entering your dissertation. If you study the American attitudes and lattitudes regarding civil rights and racism of the 50's and sixties, that will give you a better understanding about race in the military during Nam days. You'll find the military grades out extremely well, with a true attempt at the equality of mankind, regardless when comparing soldiering with civilian life. When talking "race" of course, it is about black and white, to allude to other races is watering down the true topic. The first thing a Marine boot camp did, was strip you of any previous notions or prejudices and they did an excellent job. When thrown into the mix of 100 other males with the focus on surviving, (bootcamp not war), you feel warm fuzzies toward your brehren who are enduring the same treatment. It was the perfect segue into war.

Black officers were basically non-existent, however understandable given the climate about education and segregation of the times. Minority NCO's were in abundance on the battlefield, and in foot soldiering, their leadership noticable. At one time, I had a black platoon commander, platoon sgt, right guide, squad leader and fire team leader. Rank was everything, and we policed outselves in that regard on the front lines. Fist fights were based on difference of opinion, not color, and had a way of tightening the brotherhood in combat. Fired up young men will do fired stuff and that was our mission afterall.

While racial lines on the battlefield were non-existent, because of that understanding and need to survive war, racial differences would sometimes surface on bases, usually over petty things because we were fired up and fighters afterall. There were some R&R ports where we separated because of the cultural differences in that country and had no control over. The bottom line, we were thrown into the same mix over there, and the results were quite remarkable overall when remembering Americas prejudices of the past.

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  • Re: Research help -- Bruce M. Buckalew, Tue, December 13 2005, 15:53:02 (cache-rtc-ac08.proxy.aol.com/152.163.100.137)

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