Yesenia Chavez and Halea Johnson
In the passage "In the Field" by Tim O'Brien, Jimmy camps his soldiers in the village toilet. That night it starts storming and Kiowa gets shot and swept away into the mud. Jimmy struggles with his guilt while other soldiers search for the body.
In the poem "Songs of Napalm" by Bruce Weigl, a man experiences intense Vietnam flashbacks. He tries to cope by lying to himself but nothing can make it easier.
"Looking out toward the river, he knew for a fact that he had made a mistake setting up here. The order had come from a higher, true, but he still should've exercised some field discretion. He should've moved to higher ground for the night, should've radioed in false coordinates. There was nothing he could do now but he still felt sick about it" (O'Brien).
This passage is important to the reading as a whole because it illustrates Jimmy's guilt. He blames himself for Kiowa's death and is looking back at how he could've done things differently but he couldn't have known then the consequences of his actions.
"Burning bodies so perfectly assume. Nothing
Can change that; she is burned behind my eyes
And not your good love and not the rain-swept air
And not the jungle green
Pasture unfolding before us can deny it" (Weigl).
This passage is important to the reading as a whole because it illustrates how guilt over the things done in war never leave a person. It's something a soldier carries home with them and for the rest of their lives.