I don’t even know where to start, and I apologize if this ends up being
a great deal of random thoughts rather than a beautifully composed college
paper. I’ve just spent the last
half hour searching the web and trying to decide what site to include on this
reflection. The funny thing is, it
was not my normal frustrated search for something decent to use for some class.
I was actually reading the pages. This
one I just finished, while it may not be usable for a research assignment, was
written by the wife of a vet with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), and was
beautiful and horrific at the same time (http://members.tripod.com/~Firebase_Freedom/
Another site concerning PTSD was from a
college professor and had a sickening introduction :
"I haven't really slept for twenty
years. I lie down, but I don't sleep. I'm always watching the door, the window,
then back to the door. I get up at least five times to walk my perimeter,
sometimes it's ten or fifteen times. There's always something within my reach,
maybe a baseball bat or a knife, at every door... Once when my daughter was
younger and I was that way, she came up behind me and before I knew it I had her
by the throat up against the wall. I can still see her eyes. I put her down and
just walked out of the house without saying anything to anybody and didn't come
back for a week."
account from a Vietnam veteran (Shay, 1995).
were numerous scenes I just couldn’t watch throughout the movie. I don’t
know. At the beginning of the
movie, “Chris” said he basically wanted to get out of his comfortable life
and learn something. It is
horrifying to recall the story the movie told and the lessons he was learning.
I hated the man he was becoming. The
first glimpse of that was in the village where he was making that boy
“dance.” It was like he lost it. The
scary thing was that he wasn’t even the worst the men.
When he came to his scenes, the other guy in his platoon brutally
murdered the crippled boy…right in front of his mom.
At least for Chris, every now and then, he would have a heart.
I hated that scene. I was
completely bawling and felt like throwing up.
How can anyone hate that much to lose sight of the fact he or she is
killing and traumatizing another human? Watching
the senseless killing of the wife for her legitimate screaming, the daughter’s
response, and the ransacking of the town were too much.
Then they raped the village girl. At
least at that point, “Chris” had begun to care again.
civil war that “Chris” referred to at the end of the movie was also
disturbing. As if it weren’t
enough that they were brutally killing the enemy, they were also turning against
the men they were supposedly working with.
The hate towards both the enemy and their own soldiers made me so upset.
Even though I totally agreed with “Chris” that Barnes (?) was a
cold-hearted murderer, I was really hoping that he wouldn’t kill him in the
end. Something still wasn’t right
can only imagine the physical and mental torment these men went (and still may
go) through. I’ve heard stories
before of how people were traumatized as a result of the things they experienced
during war. I was thinking about
that throughout the movie, so I decided to search the net a bit concerning that
topic. While I haven’t been a
very vocal pacifist in the past, watching and reading about such ugly actions
encourage me to be a bit bold in this conviction. It’s not that I don’t
agree with pacifism; I do. I simply
haven’t made it a huge priority. No
matter what the ultimate good could have been, there were still individuals
killing individuals…and all of those individuals had lives, friends, families,
and feelings. It just puts the
whole war thing in a different perspective when you look at those fighting as
closing, I found the movie both disturbing and powerful.
I’m glad that it didn’t really glorify war. It ended with a profound
thought: “We fight ourselves. The enemy is in us.”
Hopefully, we can find movies like this more than an entertaining way to
pass the time.
is really hard for someone of my generation to really know the feelings people
had about the Vietnam war. Since we
weren’t there during that point in time it really doesn’t mean that much to
us. I feel like our kids will be
the same way when they hear about the world trade center on September 11.
Since they weren’t there they won’t understand about how the world
was glued to their television sets for two weeks. One thing that sticks out to
me is the fact that a lot of people were not even sure what we were trying to
accomplish over there. I have talked to many people that were there as well. The
mental effects of Vietnam are still felt by some of the soldiers
have actually had the chance to talk to a machine gunner on the
someone born in the 80’s, I feel that this movie does a really good job
website has the intro for a television series about the war, but if you
This is the website I chose to use for my journal entry. This is the main page http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam/, but the page I want to focus on is http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/vietnam/trenches/mylai.html
This website really doesn't have anything to do with the war itself, but is a Vietnamese communist newspaper. I just thought this was interesting and decided to include it.
I must admit that in my years of schooling I have never gotten the chance to learn about the Vietnam War (probably because it is such a controversy among American citizens that either they don't want to talk about it or they don't want to remember it). I am interested in learning about it though because my father served in the United States Air Force on an aviation-refueling unit. I have talked with him on several occasions and he tries to be patient with me as he explains what it was like during the few final years of the war.
I would like to base my response on two things from the movie. First of all, I would like to talk about the attack on the farming village about half way through the movie. And second of all I would like to comment on Charlie Sheen's characters quote at the end of the movie that said in layman's terms "we were fighting against ourselves."
I was absolutely shocked to see the soldiers attack the farming village. I paused the movie and asked my father why they shot the man running away. He explained to me that there were lots of "innocent" Vietnamese that were either acting as spies or helping the Viet Cong soldiers by providing them with food and shelter. This village was one such village and they shot the man running away because he was most likely running to inform the Viet Cong where the American soldiers were. I was very disturbed at watching them attack the villagers the way they did. First of all most of the people in the village were probably innocent and did not know where the guns were being hidden or how to contact the Viet Cong. Second of all I thought that we believed in "innocent until proven guilty" or does that not count in war? When Charlie Sheen's character had pulled a teenage boy and grandmother out of a hole he was strongly encouraged to kill him. When Charlie refused, "Bunny" beat his skull in. Tom Berenger's character was questioning a man, a woman was killed because she tried to defend her husband, a little girl witnessed her mother die, a teenage boy was beat to death, the village was burned, and all the people were removed from their village. Pausing, my dad explained to me that this happened frequently (though he personally never had to witness it).
So I decided I wanted to see if I could find another similar story and unfortunately I did. I read the story of My Lai Massacre. It said "A military commission investigating the My Lai massacre found widespread failures of leadership, discipline, and morale among the Army's fighting units." While the attack of the village in "Platoon" had some merit and some reasoning behind it, this one did not. They attacked women praying and children playing. I must ask, how is it that a war can change people so drastically? Or is it that the people really were this way to start with but their feelings were amplified by the adrenaline rush associated with infantry? Why is it that men who take an oath to protect and serve also take revenge on civilians? Is it because they resented the fact that they were there? Or is it because they wanted revenge?
At any rate, I think that Charlie Sheen was right when he said, "we were fighting among ourselves." Within one platoon there were both good and bad soldiers. For example, Sgt. Elias fought for the good and fought to prevent unnecessary killings of his soldiers through tactical warfare. The soldiers following Elias were for the most young and fresh blood, maybe even a little naïve. On the other hand, Sgt. Barnes was a career soldier and enjoyed the adrenaline rush that came with fighting and killing at close range. The soldiers following Barnes had been in for awhile and felt resentment towards the United States government for putting them in this position and took out their aggression on "innocent" civilians when there were no Viet Cong around. I am sure that this was a common thing as in the case of the My Lai Massacre.
I have never really done any research on any directors. I found the information on Oliver Stone interesting. I found it interesting that the director of this movie being viewed was actually in the Vietnam War. I like how he attempted to re-create the characters existing when he actually was in the war. Oliver Stone showed what the Vietnam War had left with him.
this article it goes into detail the after effects of war
as for the movie Platoon that I viewed at 11:36pm on feb.4 2002,
other quote that I think is a very good statement for every on
Scott Van Eman
The Vietnam War is a something I am not that familiar with. In my history courses of the past we never seemed to go into the war much, in some courses we never even touched on it. It seems like such an important part of our country’s history, yet it is something that is not often talked about.
I thought Platoon was a good movie concerning the war. It gave me the sense of just how terrible the war really was. It seemed so less organized than the other wars of our country. When I think of the U.S. army I think about organization, power, and precision but in Vietnam it seemed like it was just the opposite. It seemed that the soldiers and even those in charge didn’t have a good idea of what their objectives were. I have also seen other Vietnam War movies such as Full Metal Jacket and Apocalypse Now. I think Apocalypse Now is the most shocking of all the films. It really gave me a sense of how little the war meant to the soldiers. It seemed like the whole thing was just chaos.
My website is a section of the Vietnam War internet project website. It is made up of 80 letters a Vietnam soldier sent back home to his family. I thought it was interesting to get a glimpse of what these men were going through. I can’t even image being in that situation; not only are they taking human life and endangering their own, but a lot of these guys didn’t even believe in what they were fighting for. It was most definitely a terrible situation for any person to be in.
I think Vietnam proved to our country that you can not make people fight for something they do not believe in. It seems to have really affected our country today when it comes to possible wars or conflicts. Now, we need to know what we are fighting and why we should care. I think it took away our country’s feeling of invincibility and made people more aware of the realities of war.
Letters home from a soldier during the war
found the movie Platoon to be very interesting.
There were two major
found a website, http://spec.lib.vt.edu/archives/blackwomen/viet.htm
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