The following announcement was published on the home page of the soon to be opened GI Coffeehouse in Killeen web site:
Under The Hood is a cafe and coffeeshop planned to open in September 2008. In the spirit of the Oleo Strut coffeeshop from the late '60s, Under The Hood will be a place for soldiers to meet and unwind. Under The Hood is a much needed venue in Ft. Hood of Killeen, Texas. Under The Hood is in the planning phase now and is looking for donations!
The announcement, that GIs, veterans and their civilian supporters were opening a new GI coffeehouse in Killeen has led two former Strut staffers, David Zeiger and Thomas McKelvey Cleaver, to publish histories of their involvement with the Strut and to examine the influence and effect of the GI movement on the American intervention in the Vietnamese civil war, and the role played by the coffeehouses in general and the Oleo Strut in particular, in enabling GIs who opposed the war to do so publicly.
While both authors share a common experience, in that they both worked at the Strut, their interpretation of the influence and effect of the GI movement diverge on the question of what, if any, effect did the GI movement have on Nixon's prosecution of the war in Vietnam and while I am sympathetic to the claim made by Thomas Cleaver that "it was the threat of soldiers not being willing to fight and die that stopped that war", David is correct in his rebuttal that:
[M]ost significantly, it rips the GI Movement out of the political and social context that gave birth to it and nurtured its growth.
Put simply, GIs did not stop the war in Vietnam. The Vietnam War was ended by a combination of forces–first and foremost the Vietnamese people, whose struggle for self-determination became an inspiration for millions around the world. And beyond that the antiwar, counterculture Black liberation and revolutionary movements were all key to creating the context for soldiers in their thousands to revolt and certainly play a major role in bringing the war to a grinding halt. It can even be described as the straw that broke the camel’s back–but that wouldn’t have happened without all those other straws!"
Both these articles, were published on the Austin Rag's blog and in spite of their disagreements, both authors illustrate the continued commitment of the original GI movement, and its civilian supporters, to the current crop of GI Resistors. David is working on a film about the Winter Soldier Hearings, that were staged by IVAW last March and Thomas Cleaver is active with the Under the Hood Coffeehouse in Killeen.
Where appropriate, I will supplement the with the articles with links to materials in the Sir! No Sir! archives, including a detailed history of the Oleo Strut, its successes and failures, that was written by David Zeiger in 1972. The source for/explanation of each link will be posted at the end of the respective articles
The Oleo Strut Coffeehouse And The G.I. Antiwar Movement
By Thomas McKelvey Cleaver
Writing in the June, 1971, Armed Forces Journal, Colonel Robert D. Heinl, Jr. stated: "By every conceivable indicator, our army that now remains in Vietnam is in a state of approaching collapse, with individual units avoiding or having refused combat, murdering their officers and noncommissioned officers, drug-ridden and dispirited where not near-mutinous... Word of the death of officers will bring cheers at troop movies or in bivouacs of certain units. In one such division, the morale-plagued Americal, fraggings during 1971 have been running about one a week....
As early as mid-1969 an entire company of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade publicly sat down on the battlefield. Later that year, another rifle company, from the famed 1st Air Cavalry Division, flatly refused -- on CBS TV -- to advance down a dangerous trail... Combat refusal has been precipitated again on the frontier of Laos by Troop B, 1st Cavalry's mass refusal to recapture their captain's command vehicle containing communication gear, codes and other secret operation orders... " (click here to read the article )
Shortly after this article appeared, President Nixon announced the new policy of "Vietnamization" and direct American combat operations came to an end within a year. In 1971, desertion rates were soaring, re-enlistment rates plummeting, and the United States Army was not considered reliable enough to enter major combat. Today, the G.I. Antiwar movement that accomplished this is little-known, but it was the threat of soldiers not being willing to fight and die that stopped that war. Soldiers refusing to fight is the most upsetting image to all of those who claim to rule, since the monopoly of armed force is their ultimate weapon to retain their power. Much of what they have promoted in the 37 years since Heinl wrote that article -- the all-volunteer Army, the Rambo version of Vietnam, the resurgence of patriotism that crested with the invasion of Iraq in 2003 --has been in direct response to the specter of GIs deciding a war wasn't worth it. The war against the war within the American military began almost as soon as America became directly involved in Vietnam, which can be dated to the so-called "Tonkin Gulf Incident," the excuse for direct American combat.
By 1966, veterans like my old friend, former Army intelligence specialist the late Jeff Sharlet - who would later found "Vietnam GI," the major GI antiwar newspaper - had returned from their tour of duty and were trying to tell those back in America who they met at college what the real truth was about the war they had served in. Many in the campus antiwar movement did not respond to we veterans, with some purists telling us we were part of the crime for our participation. Somehow we were neither fish nor fowl to many.
The result was that veterans began searching each other out. Eventually, in early 1967, Vietnam Veterans Against the War was founded in New York City and took part as an organization in the spring mobilization against the war. No one was more surprised than the veterans at the positive response they got from bystanders as they marched together as opponents of the war they had fought. By 1967, Fred Gardner, a former editor of the harvard Crimson who had served as an officer in Southeast Asia, had returned to civilian life.By September, Fred had raised enough money to start the organization he had been thinking about for two years: an group that would bring the antiwar movement to the GIs still in the Army who opposed the war.
In September 1967, Gardner and a group of friends arrived in Columbia, South Carolina, home of Fort Jackson. Jokingly known as the "UFO," a play on the military support organization USO, the coffeehouse quickly became the only integrated place in the city (this was the old South of the 1960s). The regulars soon consisted not just of black and white GIs, but also students from the local university. A few months later, Gardner returned to San Francisco where he established Summer Of Support  (later called "Support Our Soldiers") which was to coordinate the spread of similar coffeehouses to other Army bases. The first two were to be outside Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, and outside Fort Polk in Louisiana. The Missouri coffeehouse managed to open, while the organizers sent to Louisiana were run out of town before they could even obtain a site for a coffeehouse. Fort Hood was chosen to replace the Fort Polk operation. At the time, no one knew what a momentous decision this would be.
In August, 1967, riots broke out in Detroit, and the 101st Airborne Division was sent to stop it. This was the first time active Army troops had been used to quell a civil disturbance in the United States since the Civil War. In April 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated, and riots spread across the country. In response, the Army was called on to establish an organization for suppression of riots that were feared that summer as the time got closer and closer to the Democratic National Convention, to be held in Chicago that August.
Fort Hood in 1968 was the main base where Vietnam veterans who had six months or less left on their enlistments were sent upon completion of their tour of duty in the war. Somehow, the Army thought that these combat veterans would be perfect for use in suppressing the war at home. The Army brass weren't the only ones who didn't know the mood of the troops. Neither did we. These were men who had experienced the Tet Offensive, men who had known the truth before Tet - that America was not winning the Vietnam War. They were turned off from their experience and unwilling to participate in a new war, a war against their fellow citizens. Killeen at the time was a typical "old South" garrison town. The town lived off the soldiers, but hated them at the same time.
Soldiers at Fort Hood were seen by the businessmen in town as being there strictly for the picking. Avenue D was a collection of loan sharks (borrow $30 and pay back $42 - the payday loan industry's been around a long time), pin ball palaces, sharp clothing stores - one had $100 alligator shoes, a brilliant green Nehru jacket in the window with 12 feet of racks stacked with cossack shirts in satin colors - insurance brokers, and overpriced jewelry stores. If a soldier walked into one of these establishments and didn't pull out his billfold within ten minutes, he'd be asked to leave. Local toughs - known by the derogatory Texan term "goat ropers" - carried on their own war against the GIs, who they would try and catch alone at night and with assault and robbery on their minds. The local police generally sided with the "good old boys" against the "outsider" GIs.
The town was as segregated as any in the South; there was an active Klavern of the KKK to enforce segregation. Killeen had grown from a population of 500 in 1940 (when Fort Hood was established to train Patton's coming armored corps) to around 35,000 by 1968. It was not a place that was going to welcome "outside agitators" from California and Massachusetts, as we were. I remember an organizer for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee who visited that September and told me he considered Killeen more dangerous than Sunflower County, Mississippi.
The Oleo Strut opened on July 4, 1968, with a public picnic in the local park. GIs had been checking the place out over the previous month as the staff worked to set it up, and there was a large enough crowd that a reporter from the New York Times thought the event important enough to write a story about, that received national play. The coffeehouse was given the name "The Oleo Strut." An oleo strut is a shock absorber, and we saw this as a metaphor for what we hoped the place would be for the soldiers we hoped to work with. We had no idea what a shock we were about to absorb.
Within a week of opening, soldiers were coming in at night to tell us of riot control training they were taking part in during the day. They'd been told they were going to Chicago to "fight the hippies and the commies" who were going to show up for the Democratic Convention the next month. They were terribly upset at the thought of having to possibly open fire on Americans who they agreed with about the war and the need for change here in America. Soldiers were talking about deserting, about running away to Mexico, about "doing something." Our response was a little yellow sticker, two inches by two inches. On it was a white hand flashing the "peace sign," backed by a black fist. We printed up 1,000 of them and passed them out. GIs said they would put these on their helmets if they were called into the streets, to identify themselves to the protestors. At this point, the Army got very upset with us.
The Monday of the convention, 5,000 troops were ordered to board the transports. They were headed for the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Chicago, as backup for the Chicago Police Department. As the soldiers were preparing to board the airplanes, the bravest act of antiwar protest I ever knew of happened. 43 Black soldiers, all combat veterans, refused to board the airplanes.  Due to the self-separation of the races on the base, we had no idea this was going to happen. The Black troops had organized themselves. They knew what they were going to get for this. The minimum qualification to be one of those who would refuse was the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, so the Army wouldn't be able to call them cowards.
As this was happening on the base, we were on the way from our house to the Oleo Strut, when we were stopped by the Killeen Police. A search of the car found drugs - we knew immediately we were set up, since we were completely drug-free. We also knew immediately what a terrible threat this was, since at that time the possession of a joint could get one a sentence of 20 years in Huntsville Prison, as had recently happened to an SNCC organizer in Houston who'd had marijuana planted on him by an undercover officer. We were scared. In the end, only Josh Gould was held, since he had been identified as our "leader." He would stay in the Bell County Jail for six weeks until the Bell County Grand Jury would vote a "no bill" on the indictment, thanks to the tireless efforts of local attorney Davis Bragg.
The world knows what happened in Chicago. A government cannot put soldiers on the street without the prior knowledge that if they are ordered to crack heads, they all will. No one knew how many of the GIs would carry out their threat of resistance if put in the streets, so all were held back. Deprived of their military backup, the Chicago Police Department staged their historic "police riot." The GI antiwar movement had inflicted its first major blow against the government.
In the months following, the antiwar movement took hold at the Oleo Strut. Soldiers started publication of "The Fatigue Press,"  an underground newspaper we ran off down in Austin on a mimeograph the local SDS chapter found for us on the UT campus. In November, 1968, GIs from Fort Hood staged an antiwar teach-in at UT, despite the best efforts of the Army to close the base and prevent their participation. We also endured the daily reports of the court-martials of the 43 Black GIs, each of whom received several years in Leavenworth and a Dishonorable Discharge for their courageous act.
Perhaps most importantly, a GI named Dave Cline walked through the front door that September. Wounded in action with the 25th Infantry Division the year before, Dave was only now out of an extended tour of Army hospitals to deal with his wounds. He was completely dedicated to the cause of opposition to the war, and became the center of the GIs who were involved in anti-war activities on-base. He became the editor of Fatigue Press.
In later years, the rest of the country and the world would come to know Dave Cline, who spent all his life until his death on September 15, 2006, from the wounds he received in Vietnam, fighting for peace and justice as the President of Veterans for Peace. He fought the Veterans Administration for proper care and benefits for all Vietnam vets, fought for both American and Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange; he fought against America's intervention against the Central American revolutions in the 80s; he stood up against the attack on Panama, the Gulf War, and intervention in Somalia in the early 90s; he opposed the bombing of Serbia and Kosovo in 1999 and traveled to Vieques to show solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico in their fight to stop the U.S. military using it as a practice range; he organized against the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and as his last act organized a Veterans for Peace caravan to bring relief to New Orleans after it was devastated by Hurricane Katrina and neglect by every level of government. A GI Dave knew in the 25th Infantry Division was so impressed by him that in 1986, that GI - Oliver Stone - memorialized him as the main character of "Platoon." Things weren't all heavy politicking. 
Then as now, Austin had an active music scene and I was able to find bands willing to make the trek up I-35 to entertain the GIs. The most popular of these bands that fall of 1968 was a new blues band fronted by a great young singer who was only 16. Given they couldn't play in the Austin bars due to his age, they were happy to come up and play for the peanuts I could offer. The place would be packed whenever they appeared. 18 years later, in 1986, when I was at the United States Film Festival in Dallas, Stevie Ray Vaughn recognized me and thanked me for being the first guy to ever give him a break. Over the years between 1968 and 1972, when the Oleo Strut finally closed, many name musicians came and entertained the troops. Among them were Pete Seeger, who played to a packed house in 1971, followed by Country Joe McDonald and Phil Ochs. By 1970, there were some 20 coffeehouses - not all part of Support Our Soldiers - to be found in the vicinity of Army, Air Force, Marine and Navy bases across the country. Their most important role was giving soldiers who had come to understand how wrong the Vietnam war was the knowledge they were not alone.
Eventually, this dissent within the military spread to the front lines in Vietnam, as reported by Colonel Heinl. Of the three original SOS coffee houses, the UFO was closed in 1970 by a court order declaring it a "public nuisance." The coffeehouse outside Fort Leonard Wood succumbed to harassment and threats in 1969. The Oleo Strut stayed open till the war ended in 1972. Today, the site of the coffeehouse on the corner of 4th and Avenue D (101 Avenue D) is an office complex. One can still, however, find the red paint in the cracks of the sidewalk that was thrown on the door and windows weekly, back 40 years ago.
Explanation of Links
- This is not the only copy of Heinl's article available online. It has been reproduced a great many times, this is the version I put into the Sir! No Sir! archives.
- This definition/escription of Vietnamization is taken from a pamphlet titled GI Revolt, the author nd publisher of which is unknown.
- This links to a reproduction of all the covers of Vietnam GI. There are 11 articles from Vietnam GI reprinted in the Sir! No Sir! library, to access them click here.
- While this is nitpicking on my part, Vietnam GI was only one of more than 200 different GI papers published between 1967 and 1973. There are covers reproduced from more than 140 different titles in the Sir! No Sir! Galleries (click here to view the list). While Vietnam GI was important, it was neither the first GI Paper, as some have claimed, nor the longest running.
- For a list of articles, about Coffeehouses and other Anti-war Projects, published in the GI Underground Press, click here.
- This links to an article by Barbara Dane, that was originally published in The Guardian, (July 30 1968). It is a first person account of her visit to Killeen to perform at the Oleo Strut. There are two other articles about the Oleo Strut, that were originally published in Space City News, Fort Hood GI Haven and Strut Staff Raps, reproduced in the archive.
- For articles on the Fort Hood 43, click here
- For reproduction of covers from the Fatigue Press, click here
- For a description of Cline's early involvement in the Strut, see the article "A Report From The Oleo Strut", that was published in New SOS News, vol. 1, no. 4 (7/27/1969).
And What is the real legacy of the GI Coffeehouses?
By David Zeiger
Over the past three years, there has been a significant and heartening growth of opposition to the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations among active duty soldiers, and several organizations have been doing tremendous work with soldiers and veterans. From the groups and individuals supporting soldiers who have refused deployment and been court-martialed, to the work of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, the Military Project and Different Drummer Café, serious and determined work is being done to turn the deepening disaffection and anger with the occupations inside the military into a real political movement and force (and I apologize now to everyone who I left out).
It is a source of great joy for me, in that context, to see the story of the GI Movement against the Vietnam War playing a significant role in inspiring and helping shape that burgeoning movement. The reissuing of David Cortright’s Soldiers in Revolt, along with important books published in the 90s (please see the list at the end of this article), brought to life what had been deeply buried for two decades and made it possible for a film like Sir! No Sir! to be made, and for this new movement to be born.
The GI Movement of the 60s is loaded with lessons for today. But those lessons have to be seen realistically to really be truly learned, and that puts a tremendous responsibility in the hands of those of us who were part of that movement. Memory can be a tricky thing, and it is no more helpful to exaggerate the events of that time than it is to deny them. Mythologizing or inaccurately portraying the GI Movement can, in my mind, do far more harm than good as people struggle to find ways to build a new movement in the military today. But a real understanding of its ups and downs, victories and defeats, and most importantly the tremendous struggle it involved on every level can be a powerful resource.
So I was very interested to read about the effort to open a new GI Coffeehouse in Killeen, Texas, outside of Fort Hood. The coffeehouse movement has, since the invasion of Iraq, been one of the few “forms” of organization from the 60s that seem to me to make a lot of sense today. But as I read Tom Cleaver’s depiction of the Oleo Strut Coffeehouse and its relevance for today, I found myself growing increasingly concerned that real understanding may be being replaced by nostalgia (and I speak from experience, as I am always fighting my own nostalgia while looking at the past). And beyond that, Tom’s interpretation of the GI Movement in the 60s raised many issues that I want to discuss here, in the spirit of making history serve the present.
Let me emphatically state first that I am not an organizer, but a filmmaker, and I do not pretend to know what the “right thing to do” is today. Nor do I intend to criticize or direct anyone. I don’t even consider myself an “expert” on the GI Movement. But I do hope that my two years working at the Oleo Strut, and the work that I and others have done to tell the GI Movement story today can be helpful. For the record, I am not a veteran. I went to Killeen in June of 1970 as a 20-year-old drop-out– and scared to death, I might add.
Now to the issues. The biggest for me is Tom’s statement that “GIs stopped the war in Vietnam and they can stop the war in Iraq.” This has become a pretty popular view nowadays among many people, and while it may sound ironic coming from me, I find it to be misleading and potentially very harmful. It takes what is true, the fact that the GI Movement cut at the heart of the war, and uses it as a kind of club over everyone else. But most significantly, it rips the GI Movement out of the political and social context that gave birth to it and nurtured its growth.
Put simply, GIs did not stop the war in Vietnam. The Vietnam War was ended by a combination of forces–first and foremost the Vietnamese people, whose struggle for self-determination became an inspiration for millions around the world. And beyond that the antiwar, counterculture Black liberation and revolutionary movements were all key to creating the context for soldiers in their thousands to revolt and certainly play a major role in bringing the war to a grinding halt. It can even be described as the straw that broke the camel’s back–but that wouldn’t have happened without all those other straws!
Look at Tom’s main example from the summer of ‘68–the urban rebellions and demonstrations at the Chicago Democratic Convention, and the GI’s response to being ordered into riot control duty (“First we fought the Vietnamese, now they want us to fight Americans,” as Dave Cline said). There’s clearly a cause and effect here. If Black people were not rebelling in the cities, and if students and radicals weren’t planning to demonstrate at the Democratic convention, there would have been no riot control in the military, and it wouldn’t have been such a powerful impetus for rebellion that it was.
(In that light I want to correct a significant inaccuracy in Tom’s description of the Fort Hood 43, the Black GIs who resisted deployment to the Chicago convention. Tom describes them as a highly organized group, who had chosen which soldiers would refuse to go based on their service in Vietnam. That isn’t what happened. As vividly described in Sir! No Sir! by Elder Halim Gullabehmi, one of the participants, several hundred soldiers met all night in an open field to protest their deployment and discuss their grievances and make plans. No decision had been made. In the morning, when 43 were still in the field waiting for a response from the base Commanding General, they were ambushed by MPs, beaten, and thrown in the stockade. Many, including Elder Halim, were later sent to Vietnam as further punishment).
What gave the GI Movement so much power was its deep connection to the broader movement it was part of. That movement wasn’t just students resisting the draft to keep from going to Vietnam themselves (another popular myth, in my view). It was the Black Panther Party; it was Vietnam Veterans Against the War; it was national organizations that were constantly expanding the scope of protest against the war; it was students who were shutting their campuses down to force companies like Dow Chemical off campus and end university complicity with the war; it was all those things and more. In 1971, the same time Colonel Heinl wrote his famous article that Tom quotes, Washington was wracked with a myriad of demonstrations, including the May Day attempt by over 10,000 people to shut the city down (which Nixon specifically cited as a reason to “get the troops out as quickly as possible.”).
I’m not saying this to nit-pic, or to in any way lessen or denigrate the impact of the GI Movement. Yes, the GI Movement had become a force in the military that seriously challenged its authority and ability to fight; and yes, thousands of GIs were actively organizing and demonstrating, but that can’t be ripped out of the context it grew in and declared to be the sole force that ended the war. Doing so, it seems to me, could lead to a distorted view of the situation today and very unrealistic expectations. It certainly doesn’t help point the road forward.
Part of the importance of understanding the context for the GI Movement is recognizing that it faced tremendous repression. The whole nature of the military is based on isolation from the world outside, and the more that world intruded, the more they fought back. The coffeehouses were an essential link between soldiers who faced tremendous repercussions for their actions and the broader movement in society. That link was political, and just as importantly cultural, and without it much of what flourished would have been quickly crushed.
And that raises my questions about the differences between then and now. In 1968, the Oleo Strut was for the most part the only way that GIs could be in contact with that movement (although even the local porn shop carried The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Soul on Ice). Most GIs didn’t have cars then, and at night and on weekends the only place you could go was the downtown strip since bus service ended there. Life was very constricted. The Strut was literally a haven, one you couldn’t find anywhere else, and a place to listen to music and read literature that was only available there. Especially in the early years, that made up a lot of what sustained it.
It’s a different situation today, is it not? Mobility and communication are worlds apart from 1968. While we were filming IVAW in their efforts to bring Winter Soldier to the soldiers at Fort Hood this year, much of their outreach was done at bars in Austin–60 miles away! There isn’t the kind of central place today that GIs are locked into, making something like the Strut unique. That seems to me to be a significant change.
One reason this is important is that the coffeehouses themselves faced huge obstacles to staying open. Tom mentioned the KKK and “goat-ropers,” but it went way beyond that. They were physically attacked, hit with bizarre legal charges, and often burned down. But those weren’t the most difficult challenges.
Even the most successful coffeehouses were never self-sustaining financially. We barely survived, even with the Herculean efforts of the United States Serviceman’s Fund, a group whose sole purpose was raising money for the GI Movement. But even with that and the day jobs many of us had, we came close to shutting down many times. In addition the constant legal battles and harassment arrests (I spent nights in jail for such things as hitch-hiking, driving with a dirty license plate, and swearing in front of a police officer), were a huge financial drain.
It was also a constant struggle to keep staff. Burn-out was a big problem in places like Killeen (and I don’t imagine that’s much different today). Keeping a place like the Strut alive wasn’t a weekend or summer gig. The reality is that there were many long periods when it was successfully isolated from the soldiers, and it took tremendous endurance to survive those times. Life in the GI Movement, like life in the military, was characterized by many months of intense tedium punctuated by moments of intense action.
In short, the GI Coffeehouses of the 60’s were a major force that filled a very specific need, one that grew out of the times we were living in. They were also a major commitment of time and resources–extremely difficult to sustain but well worth it for the role they were playing at that time.
Again, I am not raising these things to pour cold water on the current effort. But I believe that to be kept alive, history has to be seen in all its parameters. And I do think it’s important to not view the coffeehouses of the 60s through rose-colored glasses, especially when you’re contemplating diving into the fire. I’m not drawing conclusions, just raising questions.
So as I said in the beginning, I offer these observations and thoughts in the spirit of welcoming all of the work being done today in the military, and wanting to use our history to enrich it. I hope this helps.
The books that I referred to are:
- Soldiers in Revolt by David Cortright (aka The Bible)
- The New Winter Soldiers by Richard Moser
- The Spitting Image by Jerry Lembcke (A wonderful expose of the myth of the spitting hippie)
- A Matter of Conscience: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War by William Short and Willa Seidenberg (This is an incredible book, very hard toget but well worth it. Bill and Willa traveled around the country in the early 90s photographing and recording extensive oral histories of dozens of veterans of the GI Movement. Their work formed much of the basis for Sir! No Sir!).
There are also several great books on the veterans’ movement, and particularly Vietnam Veterans against the War.
PS–Again to keep the record straight, Fred Gardner, one of the founders of the GI Coffeehouses, was not an officer, but a PFC attached to an Army Reserve unit at Ft. Jackson when he and others started the UFO Coffeehouse in 1967. The “Summer of Support” referred to in Cleaver’s article was not organized by him, but by Rennie Davis and Tom Hayden, original founders of Students for a Democratic Society. SOS was one of, but not the only organization supporting the GI Coffeehouses.
Fred Gardner, one of the founders of the GI Coffeehouses, was not an officer, but a PFC attached to an Army Reserve unit at Ft. Jackson when he and others started the UFO Coffeehouse in 1967. The “Summer of Support” referred to in Cleaver’s article was not organized by him, but by Rennie Davis and Tom Hayden, original founders of Students for a Democratic Society. SOS was one of, but not the only organization supporting the GI Coffeehouses.