Think of "Sir! No Sir!" as a filmic extension of the Vietnam War Memorial. Using period footage and contemporary interviews with combat veterans who turned against the war after having fought in it, it reminds us how they had to muster a new kind of bravery in the face of military, political and media outrage at their outspokenness. It's a powerful film that resonates damningly. It must have been awfully lonely for a lot of them, clapped into stockades, often court-martialed. But in the best American tradition, they stuck to their principles.
The parallels between the Vietnam War protest from the bottom of the military pecking order and current objections to the warn in Iraq by today's generals are eerie and chastening. The well-researched film, narrated by Troy Garrity (whose mother, Jane Fonda, appears then and now) distinguishes usefully between the soldiers' revolt and the civilian anti-war movement that grew alongside it. Whether disgusted by the murder of civilians in Vietnam or by the war's racist dimensions, those GIs deserve to be remembered as heroes of decency who continue to remind us that dissent can be patriotism, too.