75-YEAR-OLD FORMER PARATROOPER WALKS THE WALK AGAINST WAR

  • By Veterans for Peace, Popular Resistance.
  • May 21, 2024 – https://popularresistance.org/
  • Resist!

Above photo: Vietnam veterans Windsor Wade of Geneva, NY (left) and Doug Rawlings of Chesterville, ME (right). Patty Wight/Maine Public.

Fifty-four years ago, Windsor Wade marched off to war. Today he is walking for peace.

The 75-year-old former paratrooper is on PeaceWalk 2024, organized by Veterans For Peace, winding its way for 700 miles from Maine to Washington, D.C.

Wade served in Vietnam in 1970-71 with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, Binh Dinh province, Landing Zone English, in one of the infantry’s most dangerous jobs – a Radio Telephone Operator – for the company commander. His decorations include the Combat Infantry Badge, Parachutist Wings, and Air Medal from the government of South Vietnam.

The retired Rochester City Schools history teacher said, “Making this walk for peace as a former paratrooper is the best way for me to let the world know my absolute disgust with Israel’s abhorrent actions in Gaza and the West Bank. This is madness, absolute madness! Our historical amnesia is appalling!”

He added, “Generations later, the children of Vietnam still suffer from Agent Orange poisoning while the children of Gaza are being maimed and slaughtered. This walk is my way of demonstrating my solidarity with their plight and suffering.”

Wade used the G.I. Bill after his honorable discharge to earn a BA and an MA in History from SUNY Brockport. From his home in Geneva, NY, at the head of Seneca Lake, he remains active in the Justice League of the Downtown Presbyterian Church of Rochester and is a board member of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence in that city.

He supports environmental groups such as the Nature Conservancy and Earth Justice and said he is a “passionate hiker, gardener and international traveler.”  His mantra to his three children and three grandchildren is “Wage peace and let’s make a difference in this mad, mad world.”

At the walk’s kickoff in Maine, Wade met former Marine Doug Rawlings, a Maine resident and co-founder of VFP, who was stationed at a fire base in Binh Dinh province that provided artillery support for Wade’s unit at the same time Wade was there. He called his trip back to Vietnam last year with VFP, “an incredibly healing experience.”

PeaceWalk2024 is in its 14th day and is scheduled to arrive in Washington the first week of July.