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The Other USO

To the Editors:

No Americans pay a stiffer price for the war in Vietnam than GIs. They pay with life and limb, disrupted youth and lost dignity. While the civilian peace movement has waxed and waned, the level of anti-war feeling among soldiers has risen steadily. In recent months, the reluctance of GIs to engage in combat has made the US Army virtually ineffective in Indochina.

Civilians can advance the peace movement within the military by supporting institutions at which anti-war soldiers can gather and get a sense of their true numbers and strength. The United States Servicemen’s Fund is the organization that has provided educational materials and entertainment at Army-town coffeehouses throughout the country. It has now mounted a touring show—variously called the counter-USO show or the Jane Fonda troupe—to serve the GI movement.

Some 1500 GIs from Fort Bragg cheered the show in mid-March at the Haymarket Square Coffeehouse in Fayetteville, N.C., after the Army had withheld permission to play at the base. The USSF plans to send the show to other bases, and we have again asked the military to extend to us the facilities and support they provide for USO entertainers. While this support is withheld, we will again have to pay the troupe’s expenses and rent auditoriums in towns adjoining the bases. We therefore need your help.

The only thing that can stop us from reaching this most important of audiences is lack of funds. We hope you won’t let that happen. Please send whatever contribution you can afford to the USSF Show, 1681 Broadway, New York, NY 10019. The US Servicemen’s Fund is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization.

Fred Gardner

Barbara Garson

New York City

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