Wages of war in the following chapters goes over the Vietnam conflict. It goes on to explain how when the United States went into this war/ conflict it was kinda a joke in the sense that the US was such a bigger and more intimidating force than North Vietnam. The the US had 10 times as many people, 16 times bigger in land mass, and had a gross national product 34 times as much as Vietnam. The war was no more than a tv story that existed in American family rooms. After the philippine insurrection Americans felt that we couldn’t figure out friend from foe and the enemy seemed to be everywhere. It was appalling what happened at the My Lai massacre. So many innocent woman and children died at the hand of American troops. This even shamed the nation like no other event ever. The homecoming for these soldiers included addictions to alcohol and opiates and a lot of cases of PTSD that really affected the soldiers. I found that the rest of this reading was really confusing and boring which goes along with the trend on wages of war im not at all surprised.
Born on the 4th of July really intrigued me with this reading. It starts off with the veterans going off into a veterans parade in order to gain support for the men that were still in Vietnam. The revelation that he makes is really cool and really emulates the thoughts of the veteran really well, “He wanted to listen and believe everything they were saying, but he kept thinking of all the things that had happened that day and now he wondered why he and Eddie hadn’t even been given the chance to speak. They had just sat there all day long, like he had been sitting in his chair for weeks and months…he wondered now why he had allowed them to make him a hero…These people had never been to his war, and they had been talking like they knew everything, like they were experts on the whole goddamn thing, like he and Eddie didn’t didn’t know how to speak…” This loss of identity goes into the next couple of chapters when he sees a couple walking down the beach and he wishs he be the man on the beach with the girl so he can finally “feel”. The internal and external struggle that he faces is almost unbearable to read and it really hits home how destructive war really is and how it can destroy the kind of people we are. How sometimes we take things for granted and don’t fully appreciate what we really have. The use of our bodies and being healthy people who have the opportunity to expand our lives outside of this University is something we should appreciate every day.
Overall I felt that this movie was reallllyyyyyyyyyyy long and boring. I ended up needing to get a seperate chair and box on the side of the “theater” so I could lay out. The acting was poor at best and I kept saying to myself how fake these actors were being their emotions. Although I really did enjoy the bar scene when they all met up with the other military guys, their drunkendness was out of hand and it was the most enjoyable part of the movie. I felt that when the daughter ended up getting with the fathers friend was the lamest sapyest ending of all time.
In chapter 4, “GI Jane Comes Home,” it focuses upon the efforts that women had upon WWII on the home-front. Finding their place within the military was harder than it appeared. They were segregated into different groups as branches of the military for example the WAAC which eventually evolved into the WAC, WAVES, WASPS, and SPARS. Approximately 350,000 women entered active duty in all the major branches of the military which was 10 times as many women in uniform then in WWI. An astronomical increase over a 20 year gap. I believe this is do the fact that patriotism was at such a high after an attack at Pearl Harbor compared to the European war that WWI was. Also minorities such as African Americans, Hispanic and Japanese Americans came back with the same kind of glory with help from the NAACP and the introduction of black universities. Wages of War also discussed alot about women’s role within the military and all the different branches that existed and it goes along with what was said in the greatest generation comes home.
Again I have to say that this was the best reading so far. In this part of the reading we see his adjustment to civilization after the war. His return is one of guilt and recollection of the men that died in the battle. He wonders why he is the one that survives (survivors guilt). We see that a lot with veterans not only in this case from WWII but some all of the previous wars. But the greatest thing that i think really affected the course of WWII veterans was the GI Bill that allowed veterans to receive an education if desired. He really focused on this and I am really glad he did this because we finally see a nice light shed upon veterans post war after all these depressing and sad stories that we have read about in the previous readings and discussions. No wonder they say that this was the greatest generation ever…
I felt that this was the best reading we have had since we started this course. I was immediately drawn into the reading when he went into the intense detail of the battle on page 4, “Let’s Go! We step off and soon we are running downhill. We don’t think of the mines we might be stepping on, and luckily we don’t meet any. But the adjacent units have a less happy experience: they run down into a field filler with wooden Schu-mines, and many feet and lower legs are blown off.” I really cringed when I read this, an unbelievable scene to even try to comprehend. There is also another scene in which he witnesses a fellow solider have a bullet go threw his heart and see his flesh come back out his back. Then there is a transition made where we go from the battle to pre- WWII at his Jr. college in Pasadena. A part of this stage really stuck out to me. He goes on to tell the reader about him belonging to the ROTC and what that was like for him. He describes being in the ROTC as a sort of joke or “wonderland” and how it didn’t prepare him at all for real battle in any way. It makes you realize how no matter how much you read or know about war, there is nothing like first hand experience of the pain and hardship that war encompasses.
Later he goes on to talk about the reaction that he an other Americans have as a result of Pearl Harbor. They felt nothing but hatred and rage, which I can easily relate to when 9/11 occurred, I was livid. The natural reaction was to go the local recruiting office and sign up to join the armed forces. And when the time comes for him to go to training we see the intensity kick way up. They are consistently put under stressful situations some of which are almost unbearable. It really shows the kind of character you need to have to be a solider.
Again we see the unbelievable depiction of war through Sam R. Watkins’s memiors. As we were told to look for certian topics for this thursdays reading, the amount of detail of each is breathtaking. On pg. 168 as he decribes the battle so well, “The earth jarred, and shook, and trembled, at the shock of battle as the two armies met.” The diolauge that goes along with this battle scene are moving in a way that you feel like your are really there. Some of the horrors he witnessed are apsolutly scarring. “While I was sitting here, a cannon came tearing down the works, cutting a soliders head off, splattering his brains all over my face and bosom, and mangling and tearing four or five others to shreds.” Sometimes we imagine what it would be like to be there to witness a battle field but there is no way without being there for your self that you could comprehend the meaning of mass death and destruction. He also talked about the unfairness that exsisted within the system of promotion how a solider who doesnt fight fearlessly on the front lines gets nothing and a man who stops and picks up flags away from the battle get premoted was very intresting. He talks of the hospital and the stench that exsisted and i could only imagine what the smell of rotting carcuses and disease. In To Appomattox and Back it dicusses how the most common way out of the war was desertion where 200,000 soliders apart of the Union army left. Honestly I dont blame them one bit.
The intriguing memoirs of a private within the confederate army captured me immediately. His accounts of the battles and the descriptions of some the horrors he witnessed are breathtaking, and i find it unbelievable that he can remember all of these events with such clarity 20 years later. At times I found it difficult to follow when he jumps from event to event but other than that the depictions are very interesting and I’ve never really read anything like this before. I also learned a few new things about the war that i didn’t realize or was taught through my high school education. For example, Confederate soldiers signed up for a certain term of service but later in the war when it was time for those soliders to go home a law was passed saying that “a solider had no right to volunteer and to choose the branch of service he preferred. He was conscripted.” This meant that a solider had become nothing but a machines used by the Confederate govt. to win the war. After this event the soliders hated the war and in their minds the confederacy was a fraud and a great tyrant. It had become a rich mans war, and a poor mans fight. The most intriguing line within the reading. I never could have ever come to comprehend the extent that the soldiers endured on a daily basis while battling frost bite, illness, lice and ever rotting wounds it would turn any mans moral for the worst.
We see the continuing theme of veterans being mistreated after the revolutionary war and we discover a man by the name of Knox. An upper-class officer who rather than be on the lines with his fellow “Americans” he wines and dines his way through the war. Although his role within the war was critical towards spreading the cause amongst all the colonies he was an economic genius and was able to foresee the downfall of our govt. without an established economy.
Again we see the empty promises made by our govt. (congress) to our veterans post war as the country was in shambles economically unable to pay the veterans or much less give them the land they deserved. The unfortunate glorification goes to those who sat outside the lines of battle such as Knox. They did less and yet received more…which may have been one of the biggest oversights post revolutionary war.
Hi, my name is Dan Murdoch. Im from Newtown, CT which is the southwestern part of the state near New York. I love to go to long island and go to the beach and chill with friends. Im a sports guy, but primarly im a baseball player which is my passion. I like my New York teams, the Giants and Mets, and I like to have a good time and party.
I chose this course becasue history is prob. my best and favorite subject and if i were to take another gen ed i would take a history course.