David McLean’s short story “Marine Corps Issue” includes a beautifully vivid scene of Sergeant Bowen, the narrator Johnny’s father, “sitting on the edge of our elevated garden, black ashes from a distant fire falling lightly like snow around him” (620). While this scene is powerful by itself, it can be appreciated even more by understanding the symbolism and allusions embedded in it, as well as the psychological state of the father as he sits “on the edge of the garden with his head down and his eyes closed as if in prayer” (634). This is why McLean’s readers should use literary criticism: it enhances their appreciation for the story’s impact.
War reporter Ernie Pyle in a eulogy about the aftermath of D-day titled "The Horrible Waste of War" (1944) explains and details the events of D-Day before the beach is cleaned up. In order to communicate the scene before him, Pyle uses a cataloging of images, irony, and imagery. Pyle seeks to write a lasting remembrance of the sacrifice of the soldiers on that beach. In remembering the soldiers, Pyle is cognizant of the interest his audience will have, an audience of Americans, family member, friends, and loved ones.
The Selective Service Act gives the United States president the authorization to draft soldiers into war. It was enacted in 1917 during World War I and last practiced during the Vietnam War is 1973, drafting 2.2 million soldiers. Although last used over forty years ago, today, men are still legally required to sign up for the draft within thirty days of their birthday or face consequences, fines, or prison time. When it was first instated, there were only approximately one-hundred-thousand people who volunteered for the military so then president, Woodrow Wilson, found it necessary to have a draft if the US were to stand a chance in World War I. However, it is debated whether or not the selective service is needed anymore,
Vietnam has certainly remained as one of the most concerning and controversial wars of all time. One of the most disputed aspects of the war was the draft. As a result of the draft, many young men would never return home. From draft card burnings, to anti-war protests, it is evident that the draft and it’s process was seen as unfavorable in the eyes of many people in America.
USA Today reported a suicide rate of 19.9 per 100,000 for civilian men compared to rates of 31.8 per 100,000 for male soldiers and 34.2 per 100,000 for men in the National Guard. The system for how we distribute the claims made by veterans in the U.S. is not performing as it should. Soldiers cannot refuse to take medications that the government has deemed “mandatory” without the threat of a court martial. Veterans are not always easily acclimated back into civilian life and sometimes they need extra help financially after they come back, but many cannot get that kind of assistance and are simply living with very little. America’s veterans are not being treated unfairly for the sacrifices they made for this country, because the system meant to help them is currently ill equip to handle the situation.
During the Vietnam times, the Mexican American community rallied a cry in the 1960s for the people who didn’t agree with the Vietnam War. They believed the real war was in the United States where they were losing money that was being spent on the war. The money that was being made was being spent on bombs instead of useful things such as a library and medical care. Around this time, the Chicanos, Blacks, and Puerto Ricans were known as the unemployed and the poor. These people paid the price of this war by volunteering to fight in this war. They felt honored in becoming heros and serving their country, but were they treated like heroes when they got back? For those who opposed of the war, they thought the war was being fought out of proportion.
When asked about how his friends and family treated him when he returned from the war Johnson said,“Yeah. Everybody wanted to feed me a home-cooked meal, and I couldn’t eat it. Similar to what I told you before, it would make me sick, because it was too rich or I wasn’t adapted to it, and I’d have to leave the table. And then they felt bad, and I felt bad when my mother-in-law……So that was one thing” (Johnson). When many soldiers returned to America, they were accepted back by their friends and family, even if it was difficult for them to adjust to civilian life. While explaining what soldiers experienced when they returned, the article, “Design and Methods of the National Vietnam Veterans Longitudinal Study” describes, “In the decade following the May 17, 1975 proclamation by President Gerald R. Ford that the “Vietnam Era” was over, controversy arose concerning the well-being of the men and women who served in the war and returned to civilian life. One faction believed that Vietnam veterans had answered the Nation’s call, served honorably, and returned successfully to civilian life; another believed that for an important minority of Vietnam veterans ‘the war was not yet over’” (Schlenger). While some people were supportive of the veterans when they returned, others who had been against the war saw them as a large problem in America. In order to understand the whole story of a veteran people need to see how they were treated after the soldier returned
After the Vietnam War, thousands of soldiers experienced confusion, survivor's guilt, post traumatic stress disorder, and various amounts of other psychological conditions. A little over a quarter of a million Vietnam soldiers have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (Handwerk). This is a staggering number, and is increasing in today's day and age as well. Soldiers who had or still possess post traumatic stress disorder, would be exposed to: depression, angry outbursts, guilt, nightmares, paranoia, and many other similar symptoms (Hillstrom 182). All of these disorders may contribute one to feel guilty or confused, alongside the trauma of war itself. Many soldiers also felt that they served no purpose during and after the war.
“Soldiers who’ve endured the depraved world of combat experience their own symptoms. Trauma is an expulsive cataclysm of the soul. The Moral Injury, New York Times. Feb 17, 2015” David Brooks. This trauma is not only physical damage but psychological, and as many soldiers have learned you can bandage your physical wounds but you can’t bandage the wounds on your soul. Tim O’Brien recalls his Vietnam story and tells it; only to remember the details because of the PTSD he suffered from. A soldier seeing a friend die in your arms is an experience no man should bare and if that wasn’t enough, but PTSD can cause soldiers to relive every second of it in the safety of their own home. Apart from the obvious physical wounds like gunshots and burns there
The history and self-identity of the United States Marine Corps are based on operations in foreign environments. Since 1898, the United States military has been intervening in abroad. However, some of the US military interventions in other countries have been criticized, which include the Vietnam War. The Vietnam conflict is seen absolutely to have no sense politically, militarily, or economically, because “when a nation goes to war, it must have reasonable confidence in the justice and imperative of its cause” (page 34). Therefore, the dispatching of the underage recruits to that war was to subdue them unduly to adversary-induced psychosomatic disorders.
On a Friday, sitting next to the Victory Bell on the commons of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, there were one thousand young students giving a nonviolent protest about the Vietnam War currently being fought by US troops. This particular protest didn’t differ from any of the other universities’ protests, but when Saturday night came, some twenty-five protesters set the ROTC building ablaze. These twenty-five did this to start a movement for civil rights in America. This was the beginning of the defining year of the USA: 1970.
From the beginning of the United States’ history, conflict has always been prevalent. The need for armed forces continually grows, especially in times of war, as the fight for freedom becomes more challenging. Conscription, better known as the draft, was first introduced during the Civil War as a way to get more individuals involved in the military to fill vacant positions. The practice of the draft was finally discontinued in favor of an all-volunteer military system, when the need for troops was no longer necessary. After almost two decades of being involved overseas, the demand for armed troops is imperative once again. In the essay “A New Moral Compact,” David W. Barno formally uses effective rhetorical techniques to successfully argue that a draft lottery system is essential for the United States’ involvement in armed foreign conflict to subside.
I chose the time period of Vietnam for two reasons, one it was another prime example of testing the countries morals and two it is one of the time periods I wish I could have been a part of because it was a time of the black panthers, the Beats, student radicalism, the rise of the hippie/yippie movement, and continuous social changes and revolutions around the world. This time period was truly the time that rocked the United States and the world to its core and the Vietnam War played a major role in this critical moment in history.
In the New York Times article Death of a Marine, Bob Herbert discloses a story regarding a young man who participated in the Marines. Jeffrey Lucey of Massachusetts enlisted in the army instead of going to college. Despite his parents’ disapproval, he still joined. When Jeffery turned 22, his unit was one of the first to mobilize in the Iraq War. The damage that impacted Jeffery in Iraq included, explosions “just short of blowing out your eardrums”, damaged nerves, nightmare hallucinations and above all else, PTSD. Jeffery’s parents are dealing with his death by revealing the gruesome and tragic death in this article and joining the antiwar organization, Military Families Speak Out. I personally believe that Jeffery losing his life was