Final Essay.docx - Matthew Marino AML 2580-01 Jason Dubow...

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Matthew Marino AML 2580-01 Jason Dubow June 1, 2015 Final Essay Let’s Talk About Loyalty The Vietnam War was probably the most controversial wars in recent American history. The government sent American troops to fight in a civil war between two countries, that we had no business of fighting in. With North Vietnam adopting a Communist government, the United States feared that with another rising communist government our freedoms would be hurt. This all resulted in President Johnson sending American troops to fight in Vietnam, and causing another draft to begin. The draft took hundreds of young men, with an average age of 19, and shipped them off to a war that they did not believe in or understand. While there were many young men who volunteered to fight in the war, those who were drafted did not feel the same patriotism. If a majority of the soldiers were not loyal to their country, where did their loyalties lie? Why were they loyal and decided to keep fighting instead of figuring out a way to get home? They continued to fight and kill in order to not be killed. The more they killed the less likely they were to die. The less likely they were to die, the better chance they had of returning home. The soldiers in Vietnam, had one goal, which was to return home to their family, and loved ones. They were drafted into a war that they did not believe in fighting, so the United States did not gain their loyalty, which belonged to the people they loved back home. The story tells how Jimmy Cross “In the late afternoon, after a day’s march, he would dig his foxhole, was his hands under a canteen, unwrap the letters, hold them
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with the tips of his fingers, and spend the last hour of light pretending” (TTTC 1). Jimmy Cross illustrates this concept of holding onto your loyalty and love for a person in the story “The Things They Carried” by the description of what he carried. “Jimmy Cross humped his love for Martha up the hills and through the swamps” (TTTC, 3). This shows how Jimmy Cross carried his love for Martha, a girl in which he did not know if she loved him back, through all the horrors he experienced in Vietnam. This gives the idea that without his love for her he might not have been able to make it through all the horrors he experienced. The relates to all the movies and books that show soldiers pulling out a picture of their girl, and talking about how they are going to go home to her. A good example of loyalties being tied to love ones at home comes from The Deer Hunter . In the first part of the film we see Nick propose to his girlfriend Linda a few days before he is shipped off to Vietnam. His love for Linda could be seen as a driving factor for him to stay alive and return home to her. Love is also shown in this movie between Linda and Michael, who talks to her while he is in Vietnam and keeps a picture of her in his wallet. We learn this when he returns from Vietnam, but decides that
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