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APM Reports documentary: 'Soldiers for Peace'

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Soldiers for Peace
Soldiers for Peace
Courtesy of Vietnam Veterans Against the War

Nov. 15, 2019, marks the 50th anniversary of the largest antiwar demonstration in American history: a massive protest march in Washington, D.C., called The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam.

During the Vietnam War, roughly 1 in 5 GIs actively opposed the conflict. Many servicemen and women came to believe they were not liberating the country from communism but acting as agents of tyranny. In the combat zone, they rebelled against their commanders' orders. At home, they staged massive protests.

"Soldiers for Peace" offers a first-person look at how GIs were transformed by Vietnam, and the strategies veterans and active-duty personnel used to bring the war to an end. The program upends enduring myths about the antiwar movement. 

It reveals that GIs and veterans worked closely with civilian peace activists, and that in protesting the war they held dearly to American ideals of freedom and democracy — the very same ones they thought they'd be fighting for in Vietnam.

"Soldiers for Peace" takes a deep look at why a significant number of Vietnam veterans felt compelled to oppose the war rather than simply try to put it behind them when they returned home. Through first-person storytelling, it explores the way their conceptions of patriotism changed and evolved as their faith in the Vietnam War and the American government dissolved.