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VFW: Woodstock Wasn't the Only Thing Happening 40 Years Ago
NewsBusters ^ | August 12, 2009 | Colleen Raezler

Posted on 08/12/2009 11:38:41 AM PDT by Stoat

VFW: Woodstock Wasn't the Only Thing Happening 40 Years Ago

 

 
While some in the media have been dusting off their love beads, bell-bottoms and broomstick skirts in an effort to wax nostalgic about Woodstock, the VFW has reminded its members that the world did not stop for those four days in August 1969.

In fact, for 109 American soldiers, the world ended that weekend.

VFW Magazine honored those soldiers in the August 2009 cover story, "While Woodstock Rocked, GIs Died."

Much has been made over the "half a million strong" that flocked to a dairy farm in rural New York to celebrate music and peace. Richard K. Kolb instead compared the coverage Newsweek and Time gave to the festival while shortchanging American efforts in Vietnam.

 

"Newsweek described them as ‘a youthful, long-haired army, almost as large as the U.S. force in Vietnam," wrote Kolb. Time claimed Woodstock "may well rank as one of the significant political and sociological events of the age." The same article referred to the Vietnam as the "meaningless war in the jungles of Southeast Asia" and cited sociologist Amitai Etzoni, who stated that "the young need opportunities for authentic service."

As for those that gave the ultimate sacrifice in the name of "authentic service" Kolb reported, "The casualties they sustained over those four days were genuine, yet none of the elite media outlets were praising their selflessness.

But unlike Woodstock's audience, labeled by Newsweek as "the nation's affluent white young," Kolb wrote that the soldiers killed that weekend "mirrored the population of the time."

Kolb offered statistics to prove his case:

A full 92 percent were white (seven of whom had Spanish surnames) and 8 percent black. Some 67 percent were Protestants; 28 percent Catholic. A disproportionate number - more than one-third - hailed from the South. More than two-thirds were single; nearly one-third married. Not surprisingly, the vast majority (91 percent) were under the age of 30, with 78 percent between the ages of 18 and 22.

 

Kolb also poignantly noted, "Of the four days, Aug. 18 - the last day of "peace and love" in the Catskills when the 50,000 diehards departed after the final act - was the worst for the men in Vietnam. Thirty-five of them died on that one miserable day."

Thirty-five died. Hundreds more were wounded. On August 9, 2009, The Washington Post ran a story about a man who figured prominently if briefly in the legend of Woodstock. As Post staff writer Neely Tucker described it:

It was like the second day of the festival and Rodgers, 6-foot-5 and about 120 pounds, all of 19 years old, staggered out of the Port-O-San portable toilet, marijuana pipe in hand, and wow, there were guys with cameras, making what became the iconic film "Woodstock." Rodgers's blue shirt was open, he was unwashed and unkempt, his brown hair was an unruly wad on top of his head, and he was about 17 tokes over the line.

 

"Want some? Want some?" he says to the filming crew, offering hits. He's got this goofy grin. He says "Far out!" and "Out of sight!" For lo these many years, the lovable pothead scene has been a fan favorite.

 

Tucker's article caught up with Rodgers, forty years on, using nearly 1,500 words to sketch the unremarkable life of an unreconstructed hippie. It is perhaps too much to ask that the Post spill even a fraction of that ink to chronicle the life of one of the hundreds of Americans who were wounded that weekend on the other side of the world. It doesn't fit the self-congratulatory nostalgia.

The sacrifice and service that ultimately changed and, in the case of 109, ended the lives of many young Americans is not the defining notion of that summer weekend in 1969. They are overshadowed by the 500,000 people that crowded onto a farm for three days of self indulgence and ... entertainment.

—Colleen Raezler is a research assistant at the Culture and Media Institute
 



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: anniversary; hippes; hippies; meatheads; mediabias; militaryhistory; mlhist; veterans; vfw; vietnam; vietnamwar; woodstock
Please also see this related Free Republic thread from July 30, 2009:

While Woodstock Rocked, GIs Died

1 posted on 08/12/2009 11:38:43 AM PDT by Stoat
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To: Stoat; zot; Interesting Times; SeraphimApprentice; Hurtgen

Thanks for the post.


2 posted on 08/12/2009 11:39:55 AM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: Stoat

FORTY YEARS ago this OCTOBER the Weather Underground was formed (so much for the myth that they were a 1960s radical organization, the bulk of their terrorist activies were firmly rooted in the 1970s, although they were caught robbing a bank in the 1980s).


3 posted on 08/12/2009 11:42:30 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (There is no truth in the Pravda Media.)
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To: Stoat

IIRC, McPain once said, he wasn’t at Woodstock.

“He was tied up at the time.”

Sure there were others “Tied Up” at the time.


4 posted on 08/12/2009 11:44:15 AM PDT by Springman (Rest In Peace YaYa123)
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To: Stoat

Will someone please explain to me the significance of a crowd of dirty, smelly, hairy maggot-infested hippies rolling around in the mud, smoking dope and listening to a bunch of music by many long forgotten bands? Ok, some of the music was good, but it now belongs in the vintage pile along with Al Jolson and Ishkibble. Why is this so culturally important? (BTW, I would much rather listen to Jolie than Jimi.)


5 posted on 08/12/2009 11:52:08 AM PDT by AnnGora (As a result of the Stimulus Bill, Napoleon has no more tots to give.)
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To: GreyFriar
Thanks for the post.

You're quite welcome :-)

It's heartbreaking that articles like this even 'need' to be written, but sadly they do.

At least we now have the internet which allows us to bring the truth to a wider audience, albeit forty years late.

Thank you and all Veterans for serving our country  :-)

6 posted on 08/12/2009 11:53:45 AM PDT by Stoat (Sarah Palin 2012: A Strong America Through Unapologetic Conservatism)
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To: Stoat
Woodstock might have had better music, but we had a much better fireworks show!
7 posted on 08/12/2009 11:56:20 AM PDT by Natural Law
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To: Stoat
It was also Travers Weekend.

ML/NJ

8 posted on 08/12/2009 12:01:06 PM PDT by ml/nj
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To: a fool in paradise
FORTY YEARS ago this OCTOBER the Weather Underground was formed

Undoubtedly we will soon be subjected to articles written by coffeeshop Marxists, waxing wistfully about the 'good ideas' and 'universal truths' that were 'unfortunately misdirected' by this group of psychotic thugs.

I expect a lavishly-funded speaking tour from Bill Ayers and Co. telling us about how we are all simply too unintelligent to understand what they were trying to do and how they really were a positive role model for all.

Blech!

9 posted on 08/12/2009 12:01:46 PM PDT by Stoat (Sarah Palin 2012: A Strong America Through Unapologetic Conservatism)
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To: Natural Law

Duster fire at sundown no doubt.


10 posted on 08/12/2009 12:05:52 PM PDT by SgtSki
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To: Springman
IIRC, McPain once said, he wasn’t at Woodstock.

“He was tied up at the time.”

Sure there were others “Tied Up” at the time.

Great quote :-)

So sad that so many didn't make it back home.

Although I have profound disagreements with a great many of Senator McCain's political views, actions and statements, I will always regard his military service and the horrors that he underwent with the highest honor and respect.

11 posted on 08/12/2009 12:06:54 PM PDT by Stoat (Sarah Palin 2012: A Strong America Through Unapologetic Conservatism)
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To: Stoat

Stoat, you said it better than I ever could have.

Thank You.


12 posted on 08/12/2009 12:11:18 PM PDT by Springman (Rest In Peace YaYa123)
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To: AnnGora
Will someone please explain to me the significance of a crowd of dirty, smelly, hairy maggot-infested hippies rolling around in the mud, smoking dope and listening to a bunch of music by many long forgotten bands?

Why is this so culturally important?

By deluding themselves into thinking that Woodstock and the hippies were 'important', it helps the Left to live with the fact that their efforts prolonged the Vietnam war and caused the additional, needless deaths of untold thousands of brave soldiers.

13 posted on 08/12/2009 12:12:49 PM PDT by Stoat (Sarah Palin 2012: A Strong America Through Unapologetic Conservatism)
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To: AnnGora

“Will someone please explain to me the significance of a crowd of dirty, smelly, hairy maggot-infested hippies rolling around in the mud, smoking dope and listening to a bunch of music by many long forgotten bands?”

Good question for Hillary. Didn’t she get ‘allocate’ money for some museum to honor the event?


14 posted on 08/12/2009 12:18:41 PM PDT by duckman (Jesus I trust in You. Mary take over)
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To: Stoat

.....I was in the Army at Ft.Gordon...when we got off duty some of us went to the club to get a beer...Woodstock was on the evening news on the TV over the bar...we didn’t think much of it...it was more a minor curiosity than the so called “event of our generation”...what made Woodstock into what we know as Woodstock was the movie and album.


15 posted on 08/12/2009 12:32:53 PM PDT by STONEWALLS
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To: Stoat

Thanks; we needed the reminder.
It would be good to know the Bio’s on those that “Rocked while our GI’s died” I’m sure that, like the ones I have known, have died horrific deaths deaths (or have had horrific lives)


16 posted on 08/12/2009 12:54:30 PM PDT by LetMarch (If a man knows the right way to live, and does not live it, there is no greater coward. (Anonyous)
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To: Stoat

I love this song. It just seemed appropriate:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH4-tOqLH94


17 posted on 08/12/2009 1:09:33 PM PDT by JSDude1 (www.wethepeopleindiana.org (Tea Party Member-Proud), www.travishankins.com (R- IN 09 2010!))
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To: Stoat
I will always regard his military service and the horrors that he underwent with the highest honor and respect.

Same here. During the presidential campaign I couldn't believe the venom at this forum directed at his service. Way too many people cannot separate his service from his politics.

18 posted on 08/12/2009 2:10:48 PM PDT by Jacquerie (Among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.)
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To: duckman

I got out of the Army in November of ‘68, I would have loved to have gone, “Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll. I was never into the drugs part but the other two were an attraction.


19 posted on 08/12/2009 2:26:16 PM PDT by Little Bill (Carol Che-Porter is a MOONBAT.)
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To: Stoat
Woodstock Wasn't the Only Thing Happening 40 Years Ago
There was that thriller of a National League East race that ended with a) the Chicago Cubs (carrying three future Hall of Famers: Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ferguson Jenkins) burned out of the race by a heavy-and-ham-handed manager; and, b) the ultimate winner going 1) 24-8 from 1 September until the end of the regular season; 2) on to sweep the Atlanta Braves (which included two future Hall of Famers, Hank Aaron and Phil Niekro) in the National League Championship Series; and, 3) following a Game One loss, sweep the mighty Baltimore Orioles (who, on paper, anyway, should have demolished them in a blink, and with three future Hall of Famers in tow: Brooks and Frank Robinson, Jim Palmer . . .)

Perhaps you've heard of them. (They had two future Hall of Famers aboard, by the way: Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan, though nobody at the time was predicting the Hall of Fame for the Express-in-waiting . . . )

Oh, every now and then I do a little miracle just to keep My hand in. My last miracle was the 1969 Mets.---George Burns as God, Oh, God!

20 posted on 08/12/2009 3:08:07 PM PDT by BluesDuke (One man's meat . . . is another cannibal's business lunch.)
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To: BluesDuke

Thanks for the memory. As a boy growing up in Central NJ, I was a Mets fan from ‘62, and endured no end of teasing from my friends about how bad “my” team was (and they were). The ‘69 season was a sweet comeuppance. Of course, like the kids they were, they all got on the bandwagon. After that loss in Game 1, I remember my teachers all saying, well, it’s gonna be four straight games. It turned out that way, it was just a different set of four games.


21 posted on 08/12/2009 3:14:00 PM PDT by chimera
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To: chimera
Thanks for the memory. As a boy growing up in Central NJ, I was a Mets fan from ‘62, and endured no end of teasing from my friends about how bad “my” team was (and they were). The ‘69 season was a sweet comeuppance. Of course, like the kids they were, they all got on the bandwagon. After that loss in Game 1, I remember my teachers all saying, well, it’s gonna be four straight games. It turned out that way, it was just a different set of four games.
There is also an excellent book chronicling the Chicago Cubs' side of that thriller of a pennant race, sparing no one, not even Leo Durocher (who may have burnt out both his veterans and his bullpens when crunch time really arrived, the Mets reheated, and a couple of critical series between the two teams ended up showing the Cubs the Mets weren't kidding around after all---to say nothing of just how severely Durocher's resurrected penchant for ump-baiting ended up turning National League umpires well enough against the Cubs if the decisions were close enough): Durocher's Cubs.
22 posted on 08/12/2009 4:58:41 PM PDT by BluesDuke (One man's meat . . . is another cannibal's business lunch.)
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To: BluesDuke
It really was a magical time. To post that kind of record closing the season was an amazing run. They just went out and took games away from their opponents. Sometimes you get the bounces.

I know it was a bummer for the Cubs fans, but I think the Mets just went out and played with passion and enthusiasm and happened to catch lightning in a bottle for one glorious season. They don't come along very often. I will check on that book in the library.

23 posted on 08/12/2009 5:27:55 PM PDT by chimera
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To: Stoat

The only Woodstock I knew in 1969 was on my M-14.
RVN 68-69-70


24 posted on 08/12/2009 5:34:09 PM PDT by DUMBGRUNT (The best is the enemy of the good!)
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To: GreyFriar
I didn't notice Woodstock at the time. I was busy in Air Force Sea Survival School, preparing for duty in Vietnam. However, I did notice this, which hasn't been mentioned:

Hurricane Camille

25 posted on 08/12/2009 9:09:51 PM PDT by zot
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To: Stoat

bttt


26 posted on 08/15/2009 10:38:25 AM PDT by Deadeye Division
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