In 1989, the Observer Magazine witnesses a meeting between US soldiers who fought in Vietnam and Russian vets of Afghanistan attempting to heal the trauma they’ve suffered
The Observer Magazine’s cover story of 12 February 1989 (‘Russia’s Vietnam: America’s GIs counsel Soviet veterans of Afghanistan’) about a two-week “veteran-to-veteran” tour to Russia is all the more remarkable given that Vietnam and Afghanistan were both proxy wars between the US and the USSR.
This example of glasnost, nine months before the fall of the Berlin Wall, was the work of Diana Glasgow of Earthstewards – a “Greenpeace-like organisation” from Seattle. It grew out of the idea that “soldiers of the two similar wars are ready to share experiences and their governments now see no reason to prevent it”. Glasgow had made 26 trips to Russia and built up a firm relationship with Moscow’s Society of Social Invention to organise visas for 19 US veterans and therapists.
Link : From the archive: a glasnost of sorts between American and Soviet war veterans