• U.S.

Griping On The Front Lines

1 minute read
Mitch Frank

Homesick grunts from the Army’s 3Rd Infantry Division may have ruffled Pentagon feathers last week by calling for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation. But it turns out the soldiers have history on their side. As long as wars have been waged, troops have complained about their work, often censuring their leaders with more than harsh words. Here’s a look at how servicemen have vented through the ages. –By Mitch Frank

REVOLUTIONARY WAR Reluctant Patriots George Washington labored to turn rebels into soldiers; despite lashings, they deserted often. In 1781 almost 2,000 men mutinied and took over Princeton, N.J., for several weeks

CIVIL WAR Bashing the President Several enlisted men were prosecuted for lambasting President Lincoln’s handling of the war. One soldier had written his family that if Lincoln won re-election, “the country is lost”

WORLD WAR II Dissenting Voices The war was popular, but there were 40,000 deserters. In 1945 a U.S. general estimated 13,000 troops were AWOL in Paris, many running black-market goods to the front lines

VIETNAM WAR Battlefield Protests Troops saw the quagmire before their leaders did. In 1965 a lieutenant was court-martialed for marching in a protest with a sign calling President Johnson a “fascist aggressor”

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