Reader Response 5

                “…Then I kind of turned myself sideways so I can wiggle my left leg loose. Once I pulled my leg up I actually saw that my left foot had actually turned completely all the way around. It was facing the other direction. When I saw it I knew I had already lost that foot. It was still attached but hanging. The only reason it was still there was because my boots were laced pretty tight. I started really thinking about getting out of the vehicle… And my best friend, Sergeant Henderson, was on my left hand side and he was trying to keep me calm” (Wood 254).

                I really found this passage moving because it is little recognized how much soldiers lose in the war. Not only do soldiers like Mr. Jones lose an extremity like an arm or a leg, but they lose a part of themselves emotionally as well. Soldiers go to war being one person, but return as an often emotionless, hardened individual. Soldiers lose friends, and brothers in war. This is unacceptable. We do not often enough recognize soldiers for what they sacrifice for our country. Yes, we do have Memorial Day and Veterans Day, but those are not enough. They deserve far more for all the good that they have done. Even on a much less important, material level, soldiers do not receive enough. The pay is mediocre, and the health and education benefits could really be better, especially for those who return with life altering wounds and limitations. Beyond that, soldiers have trouble finding work once they return home. They chose to put the most important thing in their possession on the line; their life. Yet, we still do not respect them in the social and work environments. Why is this? This needs to change, now.

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