Travelin’ Soldier- Post 3

In 2006, three years after the Dixie Chicks made their statement on the band’s world tour, a documentary was made of the band depicting this event and the trials the women went through for those three years.

It took nearly ten years for the women to really even talk about it openly with the public and the media. But before then the women had many controversies around the world because of what they had said and done. The statement Maines made saying, “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas,” was originally meant as a joke and as a way to get attention , they didn’t believe people would take them seriously. Obviously this backfired on the band.

Before the band had gone on their tour, they had just signed with the Lipton tea company, as their main sponsor. However when this incident occurred, Lipton was hesitant to continue their support of the girls in their endeavors, worried it could hurt the company.

Many people wanted the women to apologize, or in the very least atone for their treasonous words towards the president. In an interview the president was quoted saying, “They shouldn’t have their feelings hurt just because someone doesn’t want to buy their records.” At some point during another tour, the band received a death threat letter, telling them the exact date and time to expect the killer(s) (death threat). In response to this, at each concert the security was beefed up so that no one could get to the girls.

In several interviews the band was asked how they felt about the statement, the women retorted saying they are a family, they are sisters, they deal with it together. However this leaves to wonder, why is Maines no longer in the band now? What happened to make them separate?

As the months went on, the girls tried to re-establish their footing in the music world. This proved to be a bit more difficult than they thought possible, however because of the general publics’ disapproval of the band, there was new material the band could use for new songs. As mentioned in the previous post, the band’s style of music changed from being peaceful and somewhat country to a more “livid” approach to their audience telling them that they do not regret what happened, and that they aren’t ready to apologize (see the song “Not Ready To Make Nice).

“Shut Up & Sing (2007) Official Trailer #1 – Dixie Chicks Documentary HD.” YouTube. November 22, 2013. Accessed September 18, 2014.

“Shut Up & Sing.” Vimeo. Accessed September 16, 2014.

Kroft, Steve, and John Hamlin. “Dixie Chicks Recall Death Threat.” CBSNews. Accessed September 18, 2014.


Sky Pilot #3 – Chaplains in Action

chaplain  chaplain2 chaplain3

Right now, I am awaiting some incoming sources, so in the mean time, I will discuss the lifestyle of a sky pilot and various roles one would play in Vietnam.

A lot of the following information comes from an official site of the 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry Association (  The first sky pilot in Vietnam was deployed in 1962; eventually there were over 300 of them by 1967.  All pairs of boots have many jobs other than their main duty, like how marines also supply civilians and not just engage the enemy.  Sky pilots were also tasked with aiding the Vietnamese with counseling (calming), food, water, clothes, money for schools (as we have discussed in class about LBJ’s such initiative), orphanages, , medical facilities, etc.  Not to mention, without a helicopter, many of these duties would be difficult due to the distances between DMZs, or combat zones, for that matter.

Speaking of combat zones, several chaplains did go into battle.  In my latter post, I found a veteran on a forum who posted his views about “Sky Pilot” being an anti-chaplain song; chaplains did not always go into battle, but several did, including his.  The first chaplain to die in Vietnam was William J. Barragy in 1966 (two years before the Tet Offensive).  In total, 13 chaplains died in the war.  Although this confirms a number of chaplains in the thick of it, it is nowhere near the 50-60 thousand soldier KIAs.

Another element of the song was how chaplains blessed soldiers, giving them a sense of duty and a goal under God’s protection and will.  On the Association’s site, there are several verses listed that chaplains often used to give comfort and assurance of their duty.

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want . . .” (Psalm 23).

(David’s song of serenity for the believer.)

“For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life.  Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us.” (II Cor. 1:8-10)

(During a cataclysm in Biblical times, God delivered then and will deliver us now.)

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1)

(Fear not; He is with you.)

“He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.” (Isaiah 40:29)

(Fear not; He is with you and our weaker allies.  Also maybe spoken to Vietnamese?)

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” (John 14:1)

(Perhaps for those unsure of their faith, or just scared of war.)

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)

(Perhaps for those who wanted to accept the faith in their final moments?)

Last passage mentioned is Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, which spawned another popular song:
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: .

. . . a time to kill, a time to heal . . .”

As I end this post, I will admit that I could not help but burst into tears the whole time.  Why?  Am I just a sap?  Was I feeling the fears of the soldiers?  Was I feeling the inner silent lament of the chaplains?  Or best yet, all of the above and more?  I am very familiar with most of these Bible passages due to my beliefs, but I have never wept so hard upon reading them in a context like this . . .

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Third Blog post Country Joe and the Fish Lyrics

For my third blog post I want to analyze the lyrics of the song “I-Feel- Like-I’m-Fixin-to-Die Rag” by Country Joe and the Fish.

I mentioned in my early post that this song has a sarcastic tone. That means that they are saying one thing when actually they mean the opposite. For example: When the song says “Your big chance has come at last”, look like is a good thing. But, in reality they feel sorry because a person have been drafted and that means that he has to go to war.

In addition, in my first post I point out that the song has a sarcastic humor, called “GI humor”, this means that in addition to the opposite meaning they say things joking. For example: they claim in the song “Just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb, they drop it on the Viet Cong” in this two lines they are saying that the only thing the soldiers can do when they are in Vietnam is pray to not be kill by the bombs the United States was dropping. So, pray to not be kill by their own country. Also, in the last part of the song they say, “Be the first one on your block, to have your boy come home in a box”, here they are joking because look like that the parents are racing for which of their children will come first home, and the way they come back is dead.

This in my opinion is not something to joke, but I understand why they do this. They are trying to show that the war not only affect to the people who actually goes to the war in Vietnam. Also, affect to their families, their parents, siblings, wives, sons, etc…

Finally, in my opinion I think that the sarcastic tone, and the sarcastic humor are good way to express the anger and ire of the people during the Vietnam War.

For this blog post I did not use any resource, I use the lyrics of the song. Although, I am reading the book you told me.

Gimme Shelter- Post 3

Tet Offensive map

The Tet offensive is widely considered to be one of the most significant turning point in the Vietnam War. The Tet Offensive was a series of attacks launched by the Viet Cong on the American and South Vietnamese forces around the New Year holiday of 1968. The Viet Cong forces attacked major South Vietnamese cities in the hopes of repelling the American forces. During these attacks both the North and South sustained large loss of life, however the most significant effect was not necessarily the loss of life, but rather the loss of moral and public support for the war. The negative feelings that the public felt in response to the Tet Offensive is what lead artists like the Rolling Stones to write hopeless tumultuous songs such as “Gimme Shelter.”

After the Tet offensive was over, both sides claimed it as a victory for their respective cause. While the American and South Vietnamese were able to successfully drive back the Viet Cong troops they were severely weakened by doing such. When the American public saw this broadcasted on the nightly news it was then that the majority realized that this wasn’t going to be a short simple war, as had been promised them. The support that President Johnson had had before these attacks had all but dwindled. After the attacks, Walter Cronkite, who was the face of the news media at the time, had an interview with commanders of battalions involved in the Tet Offensive, after this interview he voiced his disapproval of the Vietnam war, saying:

“To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. To suggest we are on the edge of defeat is to yield to unreasonable pessimism. To say that we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic, yet unsatisfactory, conclusion. On the off chance that mili tary and political analysts are right, in the next few months we must test the enemy’s intentions, in case this is indeed his last big gasp before negotiations. But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.” (Walter Cronkite, 1968)

This caused a severe drop in public opinion. Because of this, Johnson shifted a majority of the fighting responsibilities onto the South Vietnamese. .

“I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” Post 3

A United States’ president looks bleakly into a camera to address the nation. Lyndon B. Johnson informs the American public that a US destroyer was blatantly attacked by Communist forces on the high sea. However, history would prove that Johnson had, at the very least, bent the truth. Regardless, in the eyes of the American people this act was nearly tantamount to a declaration of war. After this incident two thirds of the American public would support American intervention in Vietnam. But as the conflict progressed it would lose more and more support of the American people and eventually a large anti-war movement would solidify.

One source of fuel for the popularity of the anti-Vietnam War movement, and that added to the war’s presences in the American psyche, was the steadily increasing amount of American casualties (until it hit it’s high point in 1968). Americans watched as men started coming home injured or in a box, the reality of the Vietnam War would move ever closer to their minds. While the casualties were fuel for the anti-war movement, they also effected the general population and the pro-war population. Whether or not an individual was for, against, or had no opinion whatsoever about the war didn’t matter when compared to the reality of the war on the average American’s mind. This sense of closeness to the war by the American people would define the conflict and was unique to it. Never before and never since had or has an armed conflict been so real in the mind of the American home front.

While casualties did help the Vietnam War achieve this, there were many factors that contributed. The previous Post indicated the way in which media and specifically, television had helped to present the war in a more real and stark view compared to previous US engagements like the World Wars and the Korean War. Upcoming posts will also help to give evidence for this observation.

William Tecumseh Sherman once said: “I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.” Yet in this war, American’s who had never seen battle would be brought so close to its reality (partly through the literal dead and wounded that came home) that they too would become sick of war. Their beliefs aside, the American public would fall to this epidemic.



Post 3: The Boss’ War

Now that we know Bruce Springsteen felt war had no purpose in our world, we can discuss what was going on in the US during the time of the song’s release and fame. The song was release by Springsteen in 1985 which was in the midst of the Cold War and Reagan’s administration. So I will be focusing on the Cold War and how Reagan handled foreign affairs.

First, let’s discuss how the Cold War began. The US has always seemed to have slightly hostile relations with the Soviet Union and Russia. They have always seemed to disagree with the US when it came to political decisions including what type of government to have. The founding political party of the Soviet Union was Communism but the hostilities between the US and Soviet Union did not start until after World War 2 was over. At that point, we were determined to beat them in any endeavors. We tried to beat them to be the first ones on the moon, we tried to create the first Atomic bomb, and we tried to beat them during the Vietnam Conflict. They were aligned with North Vietnam while we were aligned with South Vietnam. So for much of the 1900’s, we were fighting to beat the Soviet Union in any way we could. We even made it a goal to win more medals at the Olympics than them during this time. Because of our continuously fighting with the Soviet Union, many people were afraid they would endanger the US by using the Atomic bomb against or by turning other countries towards Communism. Many people, Springsteen included, did not agree with the way we handled the Cold War because people lived in constant fear. So that is one of the reasons Springsteen chose to record “War”.

Next time, we will discuss how Reagan was handling foreign policy during this time period.