Nolan
Lester
5th period
4/15/10

Reader Response 4

“We were at one recovery scene and there was a piece of paper blowing around in the breeze, so we picked it up. It was a sonogram of a baby. It was dated and that poor guy never saw his kid. He had it with him, but it was blowing around in the field so we picked it up. I remember the chief warrant officer looking at me and he just couldn’t say anything at the time; I think we would’ve both lost it. He had the thing in his hand and we were looking at it and we kist looked at each other, put it in a box, and… decided to deal with it when we get back to base.” (Wood, 220)

As soon as I read this passage I immediately began to think of the scene in All Quiet On the Western Front Where Paul kills the French printer. Just like the printer, this man had a family; a wife, children, parents, and siblings. The only real difference is that the character talking in this case didn’t kill the man, but was just an acquaintance. The main character in this story found the picture of the deceased soldiers baby just like Paul found the picture of the family of the man that he killed. I am quite astounded with this story, for it is the first time in the whole book where it was noted that the dead man was more than a soldier, he had a family back home, just like ever other soldier. Every soldier that has ever died was somebody more than a fighter. They were a brother, a father, a mother, a son, a daughter, a friend, a husband, a cousin, a neighbor. It finally hit me, that there is truly a butterfly effect when that insurgent or soldier pulls the trigger. That person just stole someone. They removed a piece in the harts of countless other people. I think that military training must have to be very careful in making a soldier not realize this. If they didn’t, would anyone be able to pull that trigger, knowing of the atrocious repercussions that it will have on people that they will never know? It is a terrible thought. We have lost so many soldiers in our wars. soldiers died, and along with those soldiers the family died as well.

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