S. Brian Willson spoke at the Sanctuary for Independent Media last Friday night supporting the recent publication of his book “Blood on the Tracks.” The title of the book refers to the horrific incident on September 1, 1987 when he was run over by a munitions train whose operators, on that day, were ordered not to stop for the protest demonstrators who had been blocking the tracks for the past several months.
Like thousands of young men from his generation he was a “good boy,” followed the rules, believed what he was taught and prospered in the system. While serving as a 27-year-old naval officer in Vietnam in the late ’60s he experienced his first doubts when sent to assess the success of bombing missions. He realized that pilots were bombing civilians, mostly children, in fishing villages with the dead then added to the enemy “body count” to shore up the political story back in the US. His realization that he was part of, and complicit in, a “genocide machine” started him on a passage of resistance and self discovery that continues to this day. His activities and discoveries along the way are the subject of his book.