Great Photo of Young Soldiers at Vietnam Protest

This is a terrific photo that deserved its own post. It really adds a human element to the protest. These are basically just kids in their 20s either protesting the foreign policy of their government, or being forced to serve in the military and fight in Vietnam. The photo was taken during the 1967 protest and march on the Pentagon.

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March on Washington against the war in Vietnam (21-22 October, 1967)
March on Washington against the war in Vietnam (21-22 October, 1967)

Source: Penn State Special Collections

UPDATE: We received an email from GoDCer Donald with some great research and answers into who these guys were. Below is the note.

Hi. I tried to post a comment but for some reason I can’t. Based on the shoulder sleeve insignia (shoulder patches) worn by the soldiers in today’s picture, they are members of the District of Columbia National Guard. Since virtually no Guard units were sent to Vietnam, it’s a safe bet that they weren’t being forced to fight in Vietnam.

The truck is from C Company, 171st Military Police Battalion, 260th Military Police Group of the DC National Guard, at least according to the bumper numbers on the back of the truck (the “9” is to designate it within the company, like C-1, C-2, etc). So it’s most likely that the soldiers in the back of the truck are also from C/171st MPs.

The ribbon on the soldier on the right is also a DC National Guard award, the DC Active Duty Ribbon. Since National Guard ribbons aren’t allowed to be worn while on active duty, it’s another indicator that they are DC Guard.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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  • SGM (R) George B. Browne DCANG

    The photo show member of the DC Army National Guard. Military Police Company ” C ” 171st MP. Battalion 260th MP Group. During the Viet Nam Era individuals had the option to join a Guard Unit for six years or be drafted in regular US Army. Many choose to join the Guard.

  • Dave Sandler

    I was in the unit from 1969-70, as were a number of Redskins and George Washington Law students.