Unlikely Protesters

protest homefront
Birmingham, Ala., is a city remembered for its civil rights marches in the '60s, and its response to those protests.

Today there's a small new movement taking place in Birmingham, reports Sharyn Alfonsi, and among its leaders are some very unlikely people.

As part of the CBS News cross-country "Home Front" road tour, we met with David Waters, a Vietnam veteran with two Purple Hearts. Waters, who says he wanted to be a part of that conflict, is now one of the city's leaders of the anti-war movement.

An easy-going Southern gentleman, Waters says he was raised, "to go along and get along." Still, he says, "It's not totally foreign to take to the streets of Birmingham. It's happened here before."

Waters says, "opposition to the war is definitely growing...even in the South."

. He and others like him are very much a minority, and the anti-war movement in Birmingham is really little more than a murmur.

Susan Mims, another Vietnam vet, was at one of the city's weekly anti-war protests.

The protest was less than overwhelming, with about a dozen in attendance.

"You have to understand again," Mims explains, "we're in the South."

Mims was born and raised in the South. These days she calls Birmingham home. She says, "As a Southerner, I do feel the heat when I say 'Why are we there?' And a lot of people question your integrity, your patriotism."

Her last job in the military was as a recruiter. Some of the soldiers she convinced to enlist are now in Iraq, and she says she prays for the troops there every night.

"It's heart-wrenching to sometimes see a parent of a kid I put in, and they come back maimed and disfigured," she says.

At some protests, Mims says she's been spit on and yelled at. Is there a sense that protesting is un-patriotic?

"In the South, yes," she says. "However for myself, protesting is a part of being a patriot."