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Johanna Söderström

councils and the chamber of representatives, maintaining her M-19 ideals: “I think that the commitment with M-19 is the one that has defined my whole life” (C9). An example of a resilient Vietnam veteran is Charles, who was 22 when he went to war in 1967. His life diagram can be seen in Figure 3 . Charles grew up in a rather apolitical family, and his political interest was awakened by the Vietnam War. When he returned home, he became active in the anti-war movement. The Kent State massacre, when on May 4, 1970 a number of students were shot by the

in Living politics after war
Johanna Söderström

of war. Yet some of the Vietnam veterans became engaged in the anti-war movement, and thus a few of them (Charles, Dennis, Ben and Ford) felt they had in fact contributed to stopping the war and ensuring peace in Vietnam. Lee and Thomas disagreed with the war protesters and wrote them off as cowards at the time, but later changed their minds and came to see this differently. Several interviewees from all three cases explained how a central aspect of peace, and achieving peace, was reconciliation and compromise. Rebuilding trust between different

in Living politics after war
Johanna Söderström

directly linked to those who protested against the war. The war resistance while the conflict was ongoing was interpreted by some as resistance to them as soldiers, whereby they as veterans embodied the guilt of the war. Thus, the anti-war movement became linked to how they were treated by society overall when they came home: “I've always felt that the anti-war people were against those that were in the military” (Robert, U12). The degree to which these protests have affected them has been tempered over time. The lack of parades when they came home (as compared to other

in Living politics after war
Johanna Söderström

) However, during college he became involved in the anti-war movement, and so he considered going into exile in Canada to avoid the draft. 11 As he was already commissioned, the question was not if but when he would go to Vietnam. He finally went on active duty two months after he graduated. Others signed up because they dreamed of becoming pilots, and not much else figured in their decision. For instance, Robert (U12), who was also in the ROTC program, just wanted to fly. Thomas, however, enlisted

in Living politics after war