Dear America

Chapter 3“Beyond the Body Count”:
Attitudes and arguments about the war
• Soldiers feel as if they won’t make it out alive “at time I feel I will never come home” after seeing all their fallen comrades.
• Soldiers are doing something they believe in, helping the Vietnamese people “I hope that’s one reason we’re here, to secure a future for them”
• Mixed feelings “Vietnam has my feelings on a seesaw”; beautiful country but still in war “for a fleeting moment I wasn’t in a warzone, just on vacation”
• Numbing emotions “I rarely acknowledge the emotions attached anymore”
• Being in the war turns you into a man “Being here makes a man feel proud of himself”
• They see the war as a responsibility for them to fight “Here there is a job to be done”
• They see it as an exciting challenge “you raised a son who likes the excitement and challenge he finds here”
• Soldiers wishing they were back home “wishing like hell that I was somewhere else” after being deprived of all the luxuries they are used to
• Some soldiers feel empathetic towards the Vietnamese and question whether they are really helping them “the war turned them into thieves, black marketers and prostitutes”
Soldiers have come to these attitudes after experiencing the war first hand and seeing the damage it has done, not only physically, but mentally. The Vietnamese have been corrupted and some GI’s “can no longer talk in coherent sentences”
Soldiers try to justify their involvement in the war by claiming it is their duty and they are helping the Vietnamese people. However this may be just a coping strategy for all the traumatic events they have experienced at war.
Chapter 4“Base Camp”:
Yes, there are similar experiences in the rear and at the front. However, the people at the rear aren’t faced with the likely hood of death as much as those at the front are. For example, although the people at the front do the shooting of the VC and NVA, the people at the rear need to lie about this and amp up the...