One More Time…

December 6th, 2007

This is the last blog post, no more waking up in the morning realizing…’man I didn’t do my post’ and rushing to do it fast. On to the epilogue now. Well the Internet decided to break and so now I have to write from the last sentence on. Severo and Milford seemed to not attack as much as they had in the past. Rather, they took examples from the wars and compared them to instances in other wars. I found some of the comparisons quite interesting and it gave a new sense of their thoughts on things. I really thought that they wrapped things up very well, a nice conclusion to  a very informative book.

As for Iraq, I hope that the soldiers that are over there and who have returned benefit from the government learning from their mistakes from history. Honestly, I don’t think that this will happen, but there is nothing wrong with hoping. I think that after reading what veterans have gone through and knowing people over in the Middle East right now, it makes the desire for things to change even more important.

I have really enjoyed this class, and learned much more than I think you would learn in your average history class. It would have been nice to have been able to look at more of the wars in America’s history, but there just was not enough time. It seemed like there was lots of information that was left out there even from the wars that we studied, but limiting time makes things tough. Taking this class really was worth it, even with all the readings.

Woah Man…great MNF Game

November 26th, 2007

Well, I had to watch the swim meet that just finished with a score of 3-0 and the Dolphins win-less. The best part, not much reading for class because I decided to listen to the clips along with the reading.

The first clip was about the 10,000 moms that were serving in Iraq this past Mothers’ Day. While the Internet is very bad here, and it was constantly buffering the clip the point was very clear. It was a point that just doesn’t have to be applied to mothers, but everybody that is over in Iraq. There was almost no way for people to pick up the phone and call their mother to say the simple phrase, one that would have likely made the day, week, month or year of their mom, ‘Happy Mothers’ Day.’ Many of these mothers are said to be single, or married to another soldier, can you imagine being one of their children?  Moms aren’t the only people over there: fathers, neighbors, family and friends that are over there right now that will never hear, anything starting with ‘Happy’. Whether it be Fathers’ day or just their Birthday, the chance of anything arriving is not very likely. There is fear still present in all of them, and you could hear it in the voice of Sgt. Maria, a single a parent of 3.

Her two year old child simply knows her in pictures, and runs away from her. The couple have barely seen their children since they began their 15-month tour of duty in Iraq, and will get to see them on their two week leave (which seems to have already happened). Maria has no regrets from joining the military, calling it “…the greatest thing I could have done…” It is time for her to be with her family, it is time finally for her to give it up. She is giving it up, so that her children can have her.

I think that this is a very important thing that we have not yet discussed, and that is why I am going to not really mention the other two readings that I did. Not that Maj. Gen. Jeanne M. Holm or Regina H. Schiffman aren’t important, a mother giving up raising her children to do something that she learned to love is truly remarkable. Regina really is a great story, as some how she has managed to put aside raising her family briefly to fight with the military. Yes, the military is something she loves, but raising your children is a pretty important thing too-especially when dad is in Iraq right next to mom.

Let us all eat birds and fill our belly

November 20th, 2007

OK…note to all, forgetting your password and trying to change it is a long process, so don’t do that. Also, I hope everybody’s paper went well and pretty much didn’t get dominated by the paper. O yea, we also had to read some for class today.

The readings today we read about the ‘other’ wars in the history of America. Nothing changed from the ‘major’ wars that we have seen both during and after the war. Yes, some of the smaller wars were supported greatly by the population, like the Spanish American, but others were not so much supported. Regardless, we saw a major pattern continuing, the government put the blame on the soldiers for their problems and refused to take responsibility. Nothing happened on the same scale as the Agent Orange problems, but soldiers dying from illness after the Spanish American War the government blamed on the soldiers for getting sick. I know that I would be pretty pissed if my government told me that, especially after going to war for them.

I am really glad that we did this reading. I had forgotten about these ‘minor’ wars during class because of the time that we have spent talking about all the other wars. These wars were all really important, I mean we could have been a British colony again after the War of 1812. The most notable thing from these wars, people thought we were heading to World War III when the Korea conflict was beginning.

Everybody enjoy their break and have a great Thanksgiving.

Orange you glad I didn’t say bananna

November 12th, 2007

Here is things that I associated with the word ‘orange’ prior to this reading:

Juice, Syracuse, Briar Woods (local high school), fruit, etc. Not until now did I think of agent.

Ok…that is enough about that for now. Looking at the writing of Severo and Milford, it becomes even more clear that the United States should have stayed out of Vietnam, or left long before they did. Granted leaving early would have been a bit of an embarrassment, the final outcome would up being just that. The reason the United States became involved…or what we are led to believe…was to stop the spreading of communism. But if you look at the map of Vietnam and the surrounding area you pretty much see two things, China and water. China was already communist, and the small remaining countries that also bordered Vietnam, there really doesn’t seem that there was a whole lot to gain in my mind.

Severo and Milford also mentioned the My Lai Massacre. That was one of many other things those two exposed that happened during the war that was horrific. In my opinion, that massacre was the soldiers letting out some of their frustrations that had been built up from the war ‘lifestyle.’ While Kovic didn’t seem to go into the depth of the horrific things that were happening during the war, Severo and Milford hit that fact a little more. I think that has something to do with the fact that Kovic actually experienced some of those things and really didn’t want to talk about it any more than he had to. Severo and Milford didn’t experience those horrors, so they didn’t have the personal effect on them that they did on Kovic. I think that is true with any bad war experience with a veteran writer, compared to an outside individual.

I thought there was only one 4th of July…

November 7th, 2007

There comparison that Kovic makes of him and Eddie in the parade. The fact that he compares to animals in a zoo, is quite a change from the guy who wanted to become a hero and went to war for his country. ‘On display in a trophy case,’ I really feel that is an accurate description of what the United States was turning these individuals into during parades like these. These two wounded veterans were being paraded in-front of thousands of people, who would never be able to feel their pain. These guys were heroes at this moment, and the only thing they wanted to do, ‘get the hell out of the back seat of the Cadillac and go back home to his room where he knew it was safe and warm.’ (108) That was only the beginning, and it was reminding him of one of his least favorite parts of being in the military, the hospital. Those same hospitals that Kovic described, for the lack of a better way to put it, as a living hell.

Kovic, along with other veterans, go to Mexico in order to get away. They go, possibly it seems for the prostitutes, and for some enjoyment and to get out of ‘the trophy case.’ The fact that veterans had to leave the country in order to get away from some of the problems that they came back with from this war is a disgrace. Granted, injuries sustained during the war is something that will never be escaped by the veterans and it is something that they will have to live with. Was Kovic the only soldier in Vietnam that was hoping to be injured?, just so they could get out of there. From the stories that I over the years I have heard through school, I personally he wasn’t the only one. Vietnam was a living hell, there was no way to keep on moving and getting out ‘fore the devil even knew you were there (Rodney Atkins reference there). They were stuck there, until the government let them leave. Once again we see soldiers, and veterans, being disrespected by the country that they are giving their lives for…what a shame. This is the 5th war, and we still haven’t really gotten the point yet.

I hope those movies I put up worked…

more songs

November 6th, 2007

After the Billy Joel song in class, it made me think of two more songs that have to do with wars. The first is one by Big & Rich, 8th Of November, is about Vietnam. The second by Daryl Worley, I Just Came Back From a War, sort of explains what it is like coming home from a war. Both were written fairly recently, and Worley’s focuses more on the current war.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/WmHgwjXlsPY" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

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I really wasn’t born on the 4th of July

November 5th, 2007

I just finished the introduction, and decided to stop and begin my post. What Kovic mentioned about the Vietnam war were things that were mentioned in a very similar way in a book I read in high school The Things They Carried. In both the authors, Kovic and O’Brien, (I think I have it right) mention the fact that people were fleeing to Canada to escape going to war. The wartime experiences and the lasting effects from the war, from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to suicide. Some of the things were mentioned was the very reason that I chose not to interview my uncle for my paper…only a few years ago did I find out he was in Vietnam (something my sister, 16, I don’t think knows). I have never heard anybody mention Vietnam or anything similar around my uncle ever. The scary thing, people are comparing the war on terror/Iraq to Vietnam, including Kovic…and I know people that are overseas, or are leaving very shortly.

In the first few chapters of Born on the Fourth of Julywe see an interesting transition from the battle front to home. The intense, language filled, battle shows the amount of stress and confusion that was present over in the jungle. Being attacked from all directions seems like a scary experience, and Kovic supports that. Something that I found interesting is that when Kovic first went into the hospital in Vietnam, they started asking him all these questions about himself…I thought that was what dog-tags were for. The vivid pictures that Kovic paints from his visits to the many hospitals shows just what was happening during the war, anything and everything could and did happen to everybody…take the Korean for example. Kovic, upon his return, was praised for his bravery as many people came to visit him while he was staying in a local hospital. Jokingly, the local Legion was going to name a street after him.

The one last thing that surprised me was the lack of privacy that the soldiers seemed to get while they were in the hospital. Kovic seemed to know lots of things about other wounded soldiers that were around him. I would have thought that the wounded might have gotten a little more privacy, but then again it was wartime and they were trying to help everybody. Also, it seems that they never told Kovic that he was going to be paralyzed, but then again maybe they didn’t know at the time. It is very interesting how the soldiers were treated during their hospital stays and travels home.

the best 649374 hours of our lives

November 5th, 2007

Yep, it’s blog day and this is the first of two posts for today. This one is about that sweet movie that was shown to us instead of going to class about 5 days ago. Let me just say this about the movie, it would have been nice if they would have concentrated more on just one of the veterans, especially in the beginning, because not only would the movie have been shorter, I feel that it would have had more of a meaning. I know that if I was coming back from a war, and had not seen my family in years…I wouldn’t have wanted to see another veteran for a couple days, unless I passed them walking the town. It would be neat if this was a sequel to a movie that shows the fighting from the war, and then this movie following a few of the soldiers home. Maybe someday that will happen, and given the recent trend of movies, they will make a prequel to this movie and then remake this one…only hopefully make it just a lil shorter.