Bruce Parry & Marc Steiner
Chicago, IL & Baltimore, MD
Bruce Parry and Marc Steiner have been best friends for nearly 50 years. In 1968 while Bruce was serving in the US infantry during the Vietnam War, Marc was protesting the war and poverty, as part of the Poor People’s Campaign. Today Bruce is part of the movement of veterans against the war, as part of the new Poor People's Campaign. Below Bruce talks about his struggles returning home after army service.
Everything happened all at once. I was homeless. I went into this program for ptsd and my mother died and they told me if you leave this program, you can't come back and that would've been the end, you know? I talked to them and convinced them, they said, “Okay, in your case we'll make an exception.” And so after the funeral and stuff, I went back and they put me back in the program and that saved my life. You want you to talk about magic, you talk about something working. I mean that saved my life. And I've taken from that virtually anybody is vulnerable to to homelessness, to poverty. And I see what the solution is, a reorganization of society around making sure that everybody's needs are met and this campaign is calling for that. And that's very personal to me.
Below, Marc Steiner remembers the last day of Resurrection City, June 24, 1968
I was there when the police came across the barricades with their bulldozers. They began lobbing tear gas into the camp and there was a woman I remember in another encampment and I was running to get out and she was there and she had these two little kids with her and she didn't know what to do. I could see she was just completely confused. And so I remember I took off my t-shirt and ripped it and put it in the mud and got it wet and ran over and said, “Put this, put this on your kids' faces, put this on your face, give me the little one. You grab that one and hold on my belt buckle. We're going to get out of here.” And I got them out without getting arrested. But it was a very terrifying moment. You felt like you were just under attack, we under attack. So that was the last day. So I'm very clear. I’m not going to forget that day.