Fred Marchant became a Conscientious Objector while a lieutenant in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He received an honorable discharge after applying for and being granted CO status.
"The hardest part about becoming and remaining still to this day in the frame of mind of a Conscientious Objector is the repeated existential decision about whether or not you're talking about all wars, and violence itself. Howard Zinn asked the same question.
"The decision about how you know whether or not you're a Conscientious Objector is one I may have thought I made some time in April 1969. But it's one that I've made sort of every day of my life. On my best days, you know, I don't fail.
"Every time I settle into the question I feel so much rawness about it. I've come to a place beyond knowing whether I'm right or wrong to just knowing that this is what I'm going to do. Then it's sort of a replication of that moment again. I'm not going to participate and I'm going to do this, you know? And it's never easy."