Thursday, April 28, 2016

Strange Bus Trip With Vietnam Veteran and War Protestor

A Vietnam veteran and a 1960s radical met on a bus headed for Khe Sanh
The Washington Post
By Daniel Malloy
April 28, 2016

DA NANG, Vietnam -- A half-century ago, they were on opposite sides of a nation divided over a distant war.

Suel Jones fought with the Marines in the jungles near the Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Vietnam. Later, he broke up an antiwar protest in Texas with his fists.

Mark Rudd was a Columbia University campus radical turned domestic militant with the Weathermen, battling those he called warmongers by any means necessary.

Last month they sat on adjacent bus seats in Da Nang traffic, having formed an unlikely but powerful bond. Jones spoke of rejecting his former self, forging a new path.

“What you’re describing is word for word my situation,” Rudd replied.

The men had joined a two-week tour of Vietnam sponsored by the antiwar nonprofit Veterans for Peace -- part of a group of a dozen veterans, protesters and others who were just curious about what the country looks like today. The group leaned left (Bernie Sanders would have won a bus straw poll), but individually, the travelers approached Vietnam from strikingly different perspectives.
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