About In The Mind Field

The writers on this site express their views on a range of subjects. They are all veterans of the US military from the Vietnam era, united by an affiliation to progressive politics and an aversion to militarism. There is no particular style or genre of writing specific to this site. Honest, engaged writing is the goal, or as George Orwell put it: “The greatest enemy of clear language is insincerity.” The writing covers all areas of politics and culture.

The writers share the view that the Vietnam War was an act of aggression by the United States and its allies against a people incapable of doing us harm within our own borders. For their determination to pursue a course of self-determination that led finally to independence, we wrought unspeakable destruction upon the Vietnamese people and upon their land.

Four decades later, after military actions and proxy wars against movements in our own hemisphere and elsewhere, we have again turned to full scale invasion as the means to achieve foreign policy objectives. From a campaign to contain communist nationalism in Indochina, we have turned to a crusade against Islamic nationalism in the Muslim world. We call our opponents “terrorists,” the same word we once applied to the Viet Cong.

Militarism is an instrument of domination employed by Empire, what our “republic” has become these days. We use this forum to oppose Militarism and Empire. We will also advocate policies that shift the vast amounts of our national resources now devoted to a bloated military and national security state to fund human needs at home and abroad. In contrast to the senseless violence and destruction of un-winnable wars of aggression, we offer a vision of conflict resolution through peaceful means. In a world threatened by economic and environmental ruin, our very survival depends on it.

Founding Contributing Editors

Thomas Brinson

Thomas BrinsonA peace activist both before and after he returned from duty as a US Army Ordnance Officer in Vietnam, Thomas Brinson landed back home at National Airport in Washington, DC about three hours after Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4, 1968. This was his “Welcome Home” after a year escorting convoys in a gun jeep throughout the Central Highlands, surviving the Tet Offensive, and serving as Civil Affairs Officer for his battalion. He’s been an ardent activist for peace with justice ever since.

A member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Vietnam Veterans of America, and Veterans For Peace, Thomas was founding coordinator of the Raheen Tyson Memorial VFP Chapter 138, named for the first Long Island resident killed in Iraq, and served for two years on the VFP National Board of Directors. A psychotherapist for 25 years, he did seminal publishing and training of VA staff with fellow veteran and colleague Vince Treanor on the virulent correlation of PTSD and abuse of alcohol and/or drugs. Disgusted with our nation doing it again when it invaded Iraq, he became an ex-pat for a couple of years, serving as an unarmed peacemaker in Sri Lanka between the Tamil Tigers and government forces, where he also survived the devastating Tsunami on December 26, 2004.

His abiding passion is writing poetry, to include prose poems relating life experiences that a poet friend of his terms “poemoirs.” He’s published and performed poetry across the country and is currently an editor for Post Traumatic Press in Woodstock, NY, where he happily resides with wife, Jill, and two cats, Lady Charlotte and Sir Gerry, in a wood-paneled apartment with a warm fireplace and backyard patio.

John Grant

John GrantJohn Grant is a Vietnam veteran and a writer and photographer. He was a radio direction finder in Vietnam, working in the mountains west of Pleiku to locate enemy radio operators. He has been a member of Veterans For Peace since it was founded in 1985. He has done documentary photography around the world, especially Central America during the Reagan wars; he made an 80-minute documentary film about a wounded Vietnam veteran returning to live and work in Vietnam; he made two trips to Iraq during the war, one as a peace activist and one as a cameraman on a documentary film; he is currently a writer on the online newspaper This Can’t Be Happening. He worked for years as a newspaper reporter and has done op-eds and book reviews for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News and has published both fiction and non-fiction in various magazines. Over the years, John has volunteered doing night outreach to the homeless on the streets of Philadelphia; he was certified and worked for years as an ambulance driver/attendant in northwest Philadelphia; for the past ten years, he has taught a creative writing class in Philadelphia’s maximum security prison.

Chuck Rossi

Chuck RossiChuck Rossi is a writer and editor by profession, primarily in the biomedical sciences and clinical medicine. He has been active in progressive politics for many years, participating in campaigns, working for candidates, and running for local office as a Democratic candidate (unsuccessfully). He was a member of the United States Air Force for 3 years and 8 months from 1966 to 1969, almost all of that time in Germany. He is a member of Veterans for Peace and many other political organizations and has an intense interest in the politics of Southern Europe and the emerging polities of the Middle East and North Africa.

Michael Uhl

A writer by trade, Michael Uhl’s work has appeared in national magazines like Forbes, GEO, House Beautiful, Travel and Leisure, the Nation, and the Progressive. He has contributed regularly to the Sunday Boston Globe Book Review. He is also the author of several books and travel guides, including the memoir “Vietnam Awakening,” “Exploring Maine on Country Roads and Byways,” and “Frommer’s Guides to Brazil and Chicago.” He is the co-author of “G.I. Guinea Pigs,” the first book length treatment of the health effects of Agent Orange on US Vietnam veterans.

Having served in Vietnam as a counterintelligence officer with the 11th Infantry Brigade, Uhl is a charter member of Veterans For Peace who has served on the VFP board; he is co-founder of the GI/Veteran advocacy group Citizen Solder. As an adjunct professor he taught college writing for two decades in New York City and in Maine, his current home. He holds a PhD in American Studies. Samples of Michael Uhl’s writing, including a political memoir-in-progress, can be seen on his website Veteran Scholar.

Michael Wong

Mike WongAs a young soldier in the US Army, Michael Wong was very much influenced by the anti-war movement and pictures of other GIs murdering 500 Vietnamese civilians at My Lai. He listened to personal reports from fellow soldiers returning from Vietnam and read how the US created the South Vietnamese government and prevented an internationally supervised free election that was supposed to re-unite North and South Vietnam after the French left.

In 1969, Michael Wong refused orders for Vietnam, turned himself in at the US Army’s Presidio stockade and tried to press a Limited Conscientious Objector case based on objection to an illegal and immoral war, but not all wars. The Army rejected his refusal, dropped three felony charges worth 15 years in prison, and released him back on Vietnam orders. At this point, Mike deserted to Canada.

After the war, Mike returned and turned himself in again, pleaded guilty to Long Term AWOL. He got an Undesirable Discharge, then earned a Master in Social Work degree and became a social worker. He is a member of Veterans for Peace, the Veterans Writers Group, and Asian Americans for Peace and Justice. Mike is featured in the movie, “Sir! No Sir!” and in the anthology, “Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace,” edited by Maxine Hong Kingston.

About the Photos on this Site

We make every attempt to correctly identify the owners of the photographs we use on this site. If we have made a mistake, or if you wish us to remove one of your photographs, please contact us at info [at] inthemindfield.com.