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=========================================================================
Date:         Wed, 3 Mar 1999 09:57:18 -0800
Reply-To:     joe@countryjoe.com
Sender:       Vietnam War Era Forum 
From:         Joe McDonald 
Organization: Acme Music
Subject:      Presidential Medal Of Freedom
Comments: To: "VVAW @prairienet.org" ,
          Nancy Pelosi ,
          Zak Wachtendonk <"\"zwalk@mailbag.com;ansalon5\""@hotmail.com>,
          vet center ,
          Terry Toenges ,
          VIETNAM WAR FORUM ,
          VVA 568 , Sarge Lintecum ,
          Steve Hassna ,
          sf chronicle editorial ,
          "SargeT@aol.com" ,
          Maggie Jaffe ,
          "McCloud, Bill" ,
          MLLiebler ,
          "Marc J. Gilbert" ,
          Leah Garchik , Lily Adams ,
          Jim Walktendonk , Kali Tal ,
          Andy Caffrey , john zutz ,
          Dianne Feinstein ,
          Barbara Boxer ,
          Ann Schremp , Denver Mills ,
          Bill Ehrhart ,
          Bill Elmore , dan stover ,
          Hal Muskat , Hal Muskat ,
          Doc Upton ,
          Roberta Brooks ,
          Jan Scruggs , Jim Hale ,
          "sixties-l@jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU"
          
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

For your information here is a copy of the letter i sent to the Capitol
regarding Jack McCloskey and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  It is my
understanding that letters and e mail do help the decission.  It is up to the
president who recieves the medal and several people can.  It is usually given
out around July 4th. Please send your own letters and e mails.

                        thank you,  country joe mcdonald



e mail addresses:
Bill Clinton 
Al Gore 
Hillary Clinton 
Tipper Gore 



snail mail addresses:

The President and First Family
The White House
Washington DC, 20500

The Vice President and Family
The White House
Washington DC, 20500



Dear Bill Clinton:
    I am writting to give testimonial as to the worthiness of Jack
McCloskey for the Presidential Medal Of Freedom.  I am sending a copy of
his obituary because it states very well the reasons why he deserves the
medal.

                                thank you,  country joe mcdonald

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


                         Good-Bye Jack McCloskey

                        Veterans' activist dies at 53

                           Larry D. Hatfield
                           OF THE EXAMINER STAFF

                           Sun, Feb. 18, 1996

                           TY: NOTABLE OBITUARY

                           Jack McCloskey, a wounded and much-decorated
veteran of the Vietnam War
                           who quietly spent the rest of his life trying
to ease the pain from that war, has
                           died. He was 53.

                           "Jack was one of the few people in the world
that you run across that you know
                           has made this world a better place," said
Michael McCain, a former fellow activist
                           in Vietnam Veterans Against the War and now a
Chicago television producer.
                           "His work saved thousands of lives here (in
the United States) after the war
                           ended."

                           "Jack was our beacon of what was needed to
help disaffected and disadvantaged
                           Vietnam veterans," said Ron Bitzer, a
Southern California health care fund-raiser
                           who helped Mr. McCloskey create Swords to
Plowshares, one of the nation's
                           premier veterans groups.

                           In poor health since the war

                           Mr. McCloskey died of heart failure at his
San Francisco home Thursday night.
                           He had been in poor health since the war,
suffering from various side effects of
                           two sets of wounds, Agent Orange exposure and
post-traumatic stress disorder.

                           The product of a Philadelphia orphanage, Mr.
McCloskey served in the Navy
                           from 1962 to 1966, then was recalled in 1967
and sent to Vietnam as a corpsman
                           with a Marine division.

                           While there, he was wounded twice, once in
the Tet offensive at Hue, and was
                           awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and
Silver Star.

                           When he returned to the United States, Mr.
McCloskey found a nation tired of
                           war and unwilling to accept its veterans back
as it had those of previous wars.
                           Like many of his colleagues, he had picked up
a drug habit during the war and
                           found little help for himself or other
veterans coming home.

                           "We were invisible to most people," he told
an Examiner reporter in 1973.
                           "Those who did acknowledge us hated us
because they knew the war was wrong
                           and they had to blame somebody for it, so
they blamed us."

                           He became an activist, both against the war
he considered unjust and for the
                           rights of veterans of the war. He also kicked
a morphine habit, although neither
                           his health nor habits ever fully recovered
from his war experience.

                           Mr. McCloskey became active in the anti-war
movement, particularly VVAW, but
                           he also was a catalyst in the infant, early
1970s movement that dealt with such
                           issues as the then-unrecognized
post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism,
                           suicide, joblessness and other problems
Vietnam veterans were facing.

                           He formed an organization called Twice Born
Men, the forerunner of Swords,
                           Flower of the Dragon and other veterans
self-help groups.

                           Author Jerry Nicosia, who is writing a book
on the Vietnam veterans movement,
                           said Mr. McCloskey and a few others were
responsible for forcing the medical
                           establishment and the Veterans Administration
to recognize post-traumatic stress
                           and agent orange-caused diseases as
service-related disorders.

                           "Jack was highly respected for a lot of
reasons, but most of all, people talked
                           about his purity," Nicosia said.

                           "The cause of veterans' rights was his
purpose. He never gained fame or made
                           money from it, as some did. He lived a
totally poor, destitute life, essentially
                           hand to mouth. His whole life was dedicated
to correcting the wrongs against
                           veterans.

                           "He was never famous in a national way, but
he was famous among his friends.
                           He was always there, always there for Vietnam
vets."

                           Country Joe McDonald, an icon of the anti-war
movement, said he became
                           involved in veterans' rights issues because
of Mr. McCloskey. "Jack was solely
                           instrumental in making me realize I was
personally a veteran," McDonald said. "It
                           really blew my mind and destroyed my cover as
a rock star. He was part of a
                           small handful of Vietnam vets who were
activists in treating the problems of
                           veterans that had not been acknowledged. Jack
shouldn't have died."

                           Country Joe dedicates concert

                           McDonald planned to dedicate his Saturday
night concert to Mr. McCloskey. It
                           was a dinner for homeless people at a
veterans center prepared by the chefs from
                           the USS Constellation.

                           Mr. McCloskey was a pioneer in the system of
storefront veterans counseling
                           centers now operating throughout the nation,
said Swords Executive Director
                           Michael Blecker.

                           "He helped get the Veterans Administration
out of its institutional walls and into
                           the streets where the problems were," Blecker
said, adding that Mr. McCloskey
                           also pioneered self-help programs for
minority and women veterans. "He was in
                           the forefront of the whole idea of peer
counseling, the idea of Vietnam veterans
                           healing themselves."

                           Mr. McCloskey attended Antioch College and
City College of San Francisco. He
                           is survived by his former wife, Lydia, of
Oakland, two daughters, Molly and
                           Susan, and a brother, Vincent, of
Philadelphia.

                           A memorial will be held Monday from 3 to 5
p.m. at Reilly Funeral Home, 1598
                           Dolores St., San Francisco. Rather than
flowers, the family would appreciate
                           contributions to Swords to Plowshares, 995
Market, San Francisco, CA 94103.



                            Sun, Feb. 18, 1996 San Francisco Examiner,
All Rights Reserved
=========================================================================
Date:         Wed, 3 Mar 1999 17:25:46 EDT
Reply-To:     Vietnam War Era Forum 
Sender:       Vietnam War Era Forum 
From:         "Marc J. Gilbert" 
Organization: North Georgia College
Subject:      Re: Presidential Medal Of Freedom
Comments: To: joe@countryjoe.com, "VVAW @prairienet.org" ,
          Nancy Pelosi ,
          Zak Wachtendonk <"\"zwalk@mailbag.com;ansalon5\""@hotmail.com>,
          vet center ,
          Terry Toenges ,
          VIETNAM WAR FORUM ,
          VVA 568 , Sarge Lintecum ,
          Steve Hassna ,
          sf chronicle editorial ,
          "SargeT@aol.com" ,
          Maggie Jaffe ,
          "McCloud, Bill" ,
          MLLiebler , Leah Garchik ,
          Lily Adams , Jim Walktendonk ,
          Kali Tal , Andy Caffrey ,
          john zutz ,
          Dianne Feinstein ,
          Barbara Boxer ,
          Ann Schremp , Denver Mills ,
          Bill Ehrhart ,
          Bill Elmore , dan stover ,
          Hal Muskat , Hal Muskat ,
          Doc Upton ,
          Roberta Brooks ,
          Jan Scruggs , Jim Hale ,
          "sixties-l@jefferson.village.Virginia.EDU"
          

I am sending this to all as the orginal came broken up in my e-mail
system and have in yours.  I have repaired the line breaks in the
obituary for others to  use more easily should they wish to do so.

Joe-Thanks for the priviledge . . .


The President of the United States of America
The White House
Washington DC, 20500

The Vice President of the United States of America
The White House
Washington DC, 20500


Dear Mr. President and Vice President,

    I am writing to give testimonial as to the worthiness of Jack
McCloskey for the Presidential Medal Of Freedom.  Enclosed you will
find a copy of his his obituary which leaves little doubt that he
deserves consideration for this medal.

My film, "Lost Warriors: Viet Nam Veterans Among the
Homeless", which will hopefully be aired in Viet Nam and the US
later this year, would have been impossible to make without Jack,
because without him, the veterans' movement would remained below the
media's horizon. Jack was a decorated war veteran who was opposed to
war,  a community activist who never profited from his work, a
tireless campaigner for those among those of  disposessed who most
deserved our love and support. We have given the Medal of Freedom to
many men and women who have given us much.  But how many gave us
healing in time of  division, and  asked us to remember those we most
wished to forget?  How many, themselves in pieces, can be said to have
made us whole again?

Sincerely,

Marc Jason Gilbert
University System of Georgia
Distinguished Professor of Teaching
Professor of History
North Georgia College and State University
The Military College of Georgia
Dahlonega, Georgia 30597

"Good-Bye Jack McCloskey-  Veterans' activist dies at 53"
Larry D. Hatfield of the San Francisco Examiner
Sun, Feb. 18, 1996

 Jack McCloskey, a wounded and much-decorated veteran of the Vietnam
 War who quietly spent the rest of his life trying to ease the pain from
that war, has died. He was 53.

"Jack was one of the few people in the world that you run across that
you know has made this world a better place," said Michael McCain, a
former fellow activist in Vietnam Veterans Against the War and now a
Chicago television producer. "His work saved thousands of lives here
(in the United States) after the war ended."

 "Jack was our beacon of what was needed to help disaffected and
 disadvantaged Vietnam veterans," said Ron Bitzer, a Southern California health care
fund-raiser who helped Mr. McCloskey create Swords to Plowshares, one
of the nation's premier veterans groups.

In poor health since the war,  Mr. McCloskey died of heart failure at
his San Francisco home Thursday night.  He had been in poor health
since the war, suffering from various side effects of   two sets of
wounds, Agent Orange exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The product of a Philadelphia orphanage, Mr.McCloskey served in the
Navy  from 1962 to 1966, then was recalled in 1967and sent to Vietnam as a
 corpsman with a Marine division.

 While there, he was wounded twice, once in the Tet offensive at Hue,
and was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Silver Star.

 When he returned to the United States, Mr.McCloskey found a nation
 tired of war and unwilling to accept its veterans back as it had
 those of previous wars. Like many of his colleagues, he had picked up
 a drug habit during the war and found little help for himself or
 other veterans coming home.

 "We were invisible to most people," he told an Examiner reporter in
 1973. "Those who did acknowledge us hated us because they knew the war was
wrong  and they had to blame somebody for it, so they blamed us."

He became an activist, both against the war he considered unjust and
for the rights of veterans of the war. He also kicked a morphine
habit, although neither his health nor habits ever fully recovered
from his war experience.

Mr. McCloskey became active in the anti-war movement, particularly
VVAW, but he also was a catalyst in the infant, early 1970s movement
that dealt with such issues as the then-unrecognized post-traumatic
stress disorder, alcoholism, suicide, joblessness and other problems
Vietnam veterans were facing.

He formed an organization called Twice Born Men, the forerunner of
Swords, Flower of the Dragon and other veterans self-help groups.

Author Jerry Nicosia, who is writing a book on the Vietnam veterans
movement, said Mr. McCloskey and a few others were responsible for
forcing the medical establishment and the Veterans Administration to
recognize post-traumatic stress and agent orange-caused diseases as
service-related disorders.

"Jack was highly respected for a lot of reasons, but most of all,
people talked about his purity," Nicosia said.   "The cause of
veterans' rights was his purpose. He never gained fame or made  money
from it, as some did. He lived a totally poor, destitute life,
essentially  hand to mouth. His whole life was dedicated to correcting
the wrongs against   veterans.

 "He was never famous in a national way, but he was famous among his
 friends. He was always there, always there for Vietnam vets."

Country Joe McDonald, an icon of the anti-war movement, said he became
involved in veterans' rights issues because of Mr. McCloskey. "Jack
was solely instrumental in making me realize I was personally a
veteran," McDonald said. "It really blew my mind and destroyed my
cover as a rock star. He was part of a small handful of Vietnam vets
who were activists in treating the problems of veterans that had not
been acknowledged. Jack shouldn't have died. .  . ".

Mr. McCloskey was a pioneer in the system of storefront veterans
counseling centers now operating throughout the nation, said Swords
Executive Director Michael Blecker.   "He helped get the Veterans
Administration out of its institutional walls and into the streets
where the problems were," Blecker said, adding that Mr. McCloskey also
pioneered self-help programs for minority and women veterans. "He was
in  the forefront of the whole idea of peer counseling, the idea of
Vietnam veterans healing themselves."

Mr. McCloskey attended Antioch College and City College of San
Francisco. He is survived by his former wife, Lydia, of  Oakland, two
daughters, Molly and Susan, and a brother, Vincent, of Philadelphia  .
. . .

                           c Sun, Feb. 18, 1996 San Francisco
                           Examiner, All Rights Reserved


*******************************************
PROF. MARC JASON GILBERT
DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND SOCIOLOGY
NORTH GEORGIA COLLEGE AND STATE UNIVERSITY
DAHLONEGA, GEORGIA 30597
PHONE: 706-864-1911
FAX:   706-864-1873
E-MAIL MGILBERT@NUGGET.NGC.PEACHNET.EDU
=========================================================================
Date:         Wed, 31 Mar 1999 15:33:33 -0500
Reply-To:     Vietnam War Era Forum 
Sender:       Vietnam War Era Forum 
From:         Robert Shaffer 
Subject:      Re: Kovic, _Born on the Fourth of July_
In-Reply-To:  <3.0.1.32.19990211112903.00a774e4@is2.nyu.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

        I don't know if it is too late to send a message out on this list,
but as I get ready to use Ron Kovic's memoir, _Born  on the Fourth of
July_, in about two weeks in my U.S. military history class, I wonder if
anyone has raised questions about the authenticity of any of the events.
The reason this question occurred to me is because of the questions raised
about Rigoberto Menchu's (spelling?) autobiography.  I am particularly
wondering about the section in Kovic's memoir in which he describes being
abused by police during and after a demonstration in Los Angeles,
including a reference to undercover police among the demonstrators who
later testified against them.  (It's on pages 152-157 in the edition of
the book that I have -- Pocket Books, 1976.)
        Also, I have found a few references in the New York Times to
Kovic's participation in the VVAW protests at
the 1972 Republican convention in Miami Beach, but less than I would like,
to supplement the memoir with the "historical record."  Any suggestions on
other primary sources on that event?
        Thanks for your help.

-- Prof. Robert Shaffer
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
=========================================================================
Date:         Wed, 31 Mar 1999 13:23:22 -0800
Reply-To:     joe@countryjoe.com
Sender:       Vietnam War Era Forum 
From:         Joe McDonald 
Organization: Acme Music
Subject:      Re: Kovic, _Born on the Fourth of July_
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; x-mac-type="54455854";
              x-mac-creator="4D4F5353"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Robert Shaffer wrote:

>         I don't know if it is too late to send a message out on this list,
> but as I get ready to use Ron Kovic's memoir, _Born  on the Fourth of
> July_, in about two weeks in my U.S. military history class, I wonder if
> anyone has raised questions about the authenticity of any of the events.
> The reason this question occurred to me is because of the questions raised
> about Rigoberto Menchu's (spelling?) autobiography.  I am particularly
> wondering about the section in Kovic's memoir in which he describes being
> abused by police during and after a demonstration in Los Angeles,
> including a reference to undercover police among the demonstrators who
> later testified against them.  (It's on pages 152-157 in the edition of
> the book that I have -- Pocket Books, 1976.)
>         Also, I have found a few references in the New York Times to
> Kovic's participation in the VVAW protests at
> the 1972 Republican convention in Miami Beach, but less than I would like,
> to supplement the memoir with the "historical record."  Any suggestions on
> other primary sources on that event?
>         Thanks for your help.
>
> -- Prof. Robert Shaffer
> Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

i am not sure what the question is but do you know WINTER SOLDIERS and oral
hisory of the vietnam veterans against the war,  by Richard Stacewicz.    it
has lots of the convention and kovic.   cheers, country joe mcdonald

   -- "The youngest son wants a real motorcycle.  world leaders inch towards
war as they proclaim peace.  The wise person takes a cleansing breath.
Perserverance furthers." Weee Ching
country joe Home  Pg 
country joe's tribute to Florence Nightingale

Berkeley Vietnam Veterans Memorial 
=========================================================================
Date:         Wed, 31 Mar 1999 15:50:33 -0500
Reply-To:     Vietnam War Era Forum 
Sender:       Vietnam War Era Forum 
From:         "Marilyn B. Young" 
Subject:      Re: Kovic, _Born on the Fourth of July_
In-Reply-To:  
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Have you looked at Gloria Emerson's book. I think she talks about Kovic.
Also LA papers would have more than Times on what happened at Convention.
Finally, didn't Hunter Thompson write about the protests in Miami? As for
Menchu, no one says that the things she said happened did happen -- only
not all of them to her. Which is different, at least a little, from the
impression given that the entire book is a work of fiction, its charges v
the Guatemalan Army all false. I think a recent NYRofBooks has a long-ish
essay on the book, Stoll, Menchu's defenders, etc.

At 03:33 PM 3/31/99 -0500, you wrote:
>        I don't know if it is too late to send a message out on this list,
>but as I get ready to use Ron Kovic's memoir, _Born  on the Fourth of
>July_, in about two weeks in my U.S. military history class, I wonder if
>anyone has raised questions about the authenticity of any of the events.
>The reason this question occurred to me is because of the questions raised
>about Rigoberto Menchu's (spelling?) autobiography.  I am particularly
>wondering about the section in Kovic's memoir in which he describes being
>abused by police during and after a demonstration in Los Angeles,
>including a reference to undercover police among the demonstrators who
>later testified against them.  (It's on pages 152-157 in the edition of
>the book that I have -- Pocket Books, 1976.)
>        Also, I have found a few references in the New York Times to
>Kovic's participation in the VVAW protests at
>the 1972 Republican convention in Miami Beach, but less than I would like,
>to supplement the memoir with the "historical record."  Any suggestions on
>other primary sources on that event?
>        Thanks for your help.
>
>-- Prof. Robert Shaffer
>Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
>
>
>
=========================================================================
Date:         Wed, 31 Mar 1999 23:02:14 +0000
Reply-To:     Vietnam War Era Forum 
Sender:       Vietnam War Era Forum 
From:         John Fitzgerald 
Subject:      Re: Kovic, _Born on the Fourth of July_
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

With reference to Ron Kovic's book - Born On The Fourth of July -
I use it with my high school classes. As a Vietnam veteran, I have not
found any flaws in what he reports on the combat zone or in the VA
hospitals after the war. His book is an honest document. To back up his
comments on Miami in 1972, check out Teddy White's Making of the
President, 1972, McGovern's memoir of his election year and Garry Hart
wrote about the 1972 campaign.
I worked for McGovern in 1972. There were a number of Vietnam Veterans
against the war as early as 1967 - 1968. I worked in the McCarthy
campaign in 1968.
I second what Marilyn Young said about the Rigoberto Menchu book, and
the critics, she reports what the Guatemala Army under CIA direction and
guidance did to her people.

Kovic's report is an honest one and you should feel confidence in using
it.
John J. Fitzgerald