Vietnam Reading Assignment
By, Trevor Check
In the Field: In this chapter of the book Lieutenant Cross and the rest of his squad are searching a field overflowing with the villagers excrement and dirty water from the monsoon taking place. Cross and the squad are looking for a fellow squad member named Kiowa. During the search Cross starts mentally writing a letter to Kiowa's father because he knows that he is dead and Cross and several other squad members blame themselves for it.
Song of Napalm: This poem is written in the first person and shows one veterans experience of PTSD after the war. This veteran gets a vision of his past from the war while watching outside his house and listening to the rain. The vision he sees is of a girls death from napalm and he says that the image will forever be burned into his head and nothing will be able to get rid of it.
In the Field: "The young soldier was trying hard not to cry. He, too, blamed himself Bent forward at the waist, .... his lips were moving. like Jimmy Cross, the boy was explaining things to an absent judge. It wasn't to defend himself. The boy only wanted to lay out all the causes. (pg. 170). This passage is important to the reading as a whole because it shows the frantic way the soldiers searched for the things they lost. It also shows the way more than one soldier blamed themselves for a soldiers dead.
Song of Napalm: "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." (Lines 41-45). This specific part of the poem is important to the reading as it shows how deeply afflicted the soldier is with his PTSD. it shows that the soldier will never be able to forget his time in the war.