A Minnesota PBS Initiative
We Did Change Minds
The longer the war went on, the more people understood why we were on the streets. I started to meet people coming back and they talked about their experiences and what they went through. It intensified my involvement and justified what I was doing.
Linda Brown’s dad’s experience as a POW for 5 years in Japanese and Chinese prison camps during WWII inspired her antiwar activities during the Vietnam War Era. It bothered her that her father’s life was altered by war yet he watched many military programs. It wasn’t until late in his life that PTSD was recognized. “I didn’t understand war, why people engage in war and the effect war has on people,” she said.
When she was in school at Mankato in 1965, her ex-husband and friends were involved in the antiwar movement, so she got involved, and continued her efforts after her move to New York. She had many trips to D.C. and when she ended up in Albany, she did draft counseling. “I am proud to say that I got many out. It was a longterm involvement. Shutting down draft boards was always fun.”
“The longer the war went on, the more people understood why we were on the streets. I started to meet people coming back and they talked about their experiences and what they went through. It intensified my involvement and justified what I was doing.” She is proud of her involvement saying, “We did change minds.”
“I feel a lot of anger that so many died for no reason in a war that we had no right being in. When you see images of soldiers by the Wall and the anger they have, that anger comes out because those people didn’t have to die.” She says, "If someone is so strongly objected to something like war- they have an obligation to stand up and do whatever it takes to make sure that things don’t happen again."
She adds, "People all over the world need to start talking to each other. Not making assumptions or presumptions about how people think or feel. I think we can achieve peace."
Story Themes: Antiwar Movement, Draft, Family, Protest, PTSD, Student Protest, Video, WWII