Danger Close - Chapter One is a story that begins with a confrontation between two young and polite soldiers and a very large and very unreasonably hostile anti-war protester. The confrontation goes on for several pages, with the two young soldiers just trying to enjoy themselves by doing what young men do everywhere, trying to hook up with the ladies in the bar, and the soldiers display the absolute best of manners by trying to avoid a fight with the belligerent, hostile protester. But the protester persists in making himself more and more obnoxious. Curiously, the reader has no idea what the protesters motivation is. The protester doesn't even go to the extent of revealing his ignorance by making wild accusations against the soldiers. The bouncer in the bar doesn't remove the hostile person or tell him to go home, but intervenes just enough to show that he is there.
I of course cannot claim to know whether or not the story was true, but I most certainly was bothered by these elements of the story. First of all because I took part in a fairly large march/demonstration just a few weeks back and I'd say that we were about half and half male and female. A large percentage of the males were much too old to go around picking fights in bars and quite a few were veterans. So it seems to me that the percentage of the peace movement that's going to go around being belligerent towards soldiers in bars would be vanishingly small.
Besides, we're fully aware that former soldiers from the Vietnam era felt very hurt and abandoned and shafted when they got back home. Their fathers from World War II and Korea were greeted with parades and celebrations and when they had settled in, picked up good jobs without difficulty. When the Vietnam vets got home, they were greeted with indifference and then unemployment. In fact, according to some vets, they were actually spat upon by war protesters. The movie Sir, No Sir! features the author of the above-referenced study spending a fair amount of time examining this myth. As with many urban legends, spitting was always reported to have occurred in the next town over or at the other airport or to a friend of a friend. The researcher in the movie was unable to locate any returning veterans who reported a first-hand experience with having been spat upon.
Having taken part in protests against the Iraq War from the very beginning (Sept 2002), I can testify that as a military veteran myself (PN3(Ret), USN, 1991-2001), I've run into absolutely zero prejudice against the military. Peaceniks have, from the very beginning, sought out veterans to be their allies. The very names of the organizations Veterans for Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War testify eloquently to that fact. The VFP and IVAW have sought from the very beginning of the peace movement to be in the forefront of each protest, precisely to tell Americans that the peace movement is not anti-military.
As I said, I didn't read past the first few pages of this book, but on the theory that the first story in the book is meant to provide foreshadowing to the rest, I'm guessing that the peace movement as a whole is consistently represented here as a hostile, implacable and utterly inexplicable force that seeks to repeat history with a reprise of the "Dolchstosslegende" (Stab in the back legend) that der Fuhrer made so popular.