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Heroes for Peace

From The Objector - a magazine of conscience and resistance:

Hugh C. Thompson, Jr. died on January 6, 2006 at the age of 62. 

He was a helicopter pilot and a warrant officer who took the actions that ended the My Lai massacre on March 16, 1968. Once he realized that C-Company under Capt. Ernest Medina was murdering Vietnamese civilians, he ordered his crew members Laurence Colburn and Glenn Andreotta to fire on any American who refused the orders to halt the massacre, confronted an officer who was preparing to kill more Vietnamese people, and he ordered helicopters to medevac 11 Vietnamese people who were still alive. None of the officers disobeyed Thompson even though, strictly speaking, they outranked him. He reported the massacre to his superiors, while it was still occurring, and the cease-fire order was given.

Probably as punishment for what he had done and the press coverage of My Lai , he was made to continue dangerous helicopter missions, from which he was shot down five times, the last time breaking his back; in addition, he suffered psychologically from the war.

Exactly 30 years later, the three were awarded the Soldiers' Medal, the United States Army's highest award for bravery not involving direct contact with the enemy. Also in 1998, Thompson and Colburn returned to the village of My Lai, where they met with some of the villagers saved through their actions, and dedicated an elementary school. In 1999, Thompson and Colburn received the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award. Later that year, both men served as co chairs of Stonewalk, a group that pulled a one-ton rock engraved “Unknown Civilians Killed in War,” from Boston to Arlington National Cemetery

Desmond Doss died in Alabama on March 23, 2006 at age 87. 

He was the first conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. As a Seventh Day Adventist, he was ridiculed, teased, and harassed for being a CO, for refusing to train on Saturday (the Sabbath) and for praying. He was a medic who refused not only to carry weapons but also to train with them.

In May, 1945 on Okinawa , after his unit encountered a barrage of Japanese mortar and rifle fire, Desmond Doss was stranded on an escarpment with about 75 wounded GIs. Working slowly and doggedly under continuous enemy fire, Doss dragged each man to the edge of the cliff, tied him in a rope sling and lowered him to safety. One by one, he rescued them all. Two weeks later, in another bitter fight, Doss rescued his badly wounded company commander, Jack Glover, who stated, “He saved my life. The man I tried to have kicked out of the Army ended up being the most courageous person I've ever known. How's that for irony?”

 

  

The following organizations and individuals have joined us in supporting this effort: 

    

Veterans For Peace - Veterans Working Together for Peace & Justice.

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* Noam Chomsky - Activist, Author, and Scholar.

   

* David Zeiger - Producer and Director of Sir, No Sir.

   

* Howard Zinn - Author, historian, playwright, and social activist.

   

* COMD - Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft.

   

* CCCO - The Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors

   

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