Operation Homecoming Research Paper

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Plato famously stated, “Only the dead have seen the end of War.” War is everywhere, always happening in some section of the Earth. According to the Ancient History Encyclopedia, in the last 3,400 years of human history, only 268 years - eight percent - have been without war. War has changed the course of history for countries, their citizens, and their culture. Battles can be inhumane, unsanitary, and leave lasting effects on soldiers and the environment. War often leaves soldiers with feelings of guilt they do not recover from, usually occurring after the death of a fellow soldier or the killing of innocent civilians. Some soldiers describe feeling like a different person after returning home from service. War impacts soldiers in multiple…show more content…
Similar to The Things They Carried, stories told in the film Operation Homecoming prove that some injuries from war can’t heal, no matter what is done. This includes certain wounds from bullets, explosions, or even disease. In Operation Homecoming, soldiers recollect their stories from their military service. These include stories of witnessing death and discomfort overseas, and how this has affected those involved. While this film tells stories of stories involving physical pain, many of the after effects are mental. This reflects into statistics, with suicide currently holding the title of the most common cause of death in the military, according to USA Today. In 2010 alone, 154 US soldiers in Afghanistan committed suicide, while 127 troops died in combat. Often times, the death of fellow soldiers greatly affects their partners. In Operation Homecoming, a soldier describes how his best friend is shot and killed on the battlefield. The soldier is not allowed to stay with his deceased friend, and must keep moving on with his patrol. This has caused him to have guilt, even after over ten years of leaving the military. As stated in Operation Homecoming, “The words become unstuck from their definitions.” Some cannot describe their experiences and how they affect them. Everything is such a mess of new ideas and coated with stress and pain that things are just too complicated to put into a picture. In The Things They Carried, the narrator is shot in the rear end, and due to poor…show more content…
The Things They Carried and Operation Homecoming exhibit the lasting effect of war on soldiers. This is both mental and physical, in the forms of mental illnesses such as PTSD, or permanent injuries from battle. Some effects come from the death of a troop mate, such as Curt Lemon in The Things They Carried. These leave lasting mental scars on soldiers, or cause them to cope in ways that are less than humane. Many soldiers resort to suicide, including Norman Bowker after experiencing the death of Kiowa in Vietnam. Essentially, war doesn’t exclusively affect those who are directly injured. War isn’t only a loss of fellow soldiers and money, but events that change our lives and history forever. War cannot be escaped from, as Plato famously wrote, “Only the dead have seen the end
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