Permanent Link to “What Was Asked of Us” Reading Journal pg.55-107"
“What Was Asked of Us” Reading Journal pg.55-107<br />They fight for us, they fight for our country, and they fight for our lives. They are the forgotten soldiers.<br />What happens when you take a soldier away from his normal habitat? What would you do if you were thrown into a cage full of wild animals where all you had was a gun to defend yourself? Would your attitude change, would your perspective of life change? Take all these questions into consideration and imagine what our soldiers in Iraq are doing right now. They are scared out of their minds, but have chosen to defend our country. These are the heroes that we forget and don’t appreciate as much as we need to. When they come back to regular life, they are forgotten, treated like another gust in the wind. What have we come to? These days, our society seems to expect our soldiers to do what they need to do and come back. That is not the case; war has more to it than that. We don’t understand what is going on over there, nor will we ever unless we decide to fight in the war. <br />Soldiers mourn for their comrades and lost brothers whose lives were cut short by the war.<br />A passage from the novel that I am reading, What Was Asked of Us, struck me as very interesting. It reads, “The war wasn’t over by any means at this point, even though a few days after we got there President Bush said it was over—major combat operations anyway. On the day the president said that, we had our first major firefight. Bush’s comments really (expletive) everybody off…infuriated the soldiers. Later, he said, “Bring it on.” Don’t tell the guys attacking us to “bring it on.” Don’t suggest that we should be attacked, especially when we don’t have the proper gear. We didn’t have enough armored Humvees even later; a year into the war, we still weren’t getting the gear we needed.” (Powers 74). As shown in this passage, even the President of the United States at the time didn’t even know what was going on over in Iraq. He was clueless and suggesting more attacks from the enemy. No one understands that one death means the whole world to these soldiers because they all rely on each other to survive. They are each other’s hope and inspiration. This attitude is easily comparable with the situations that the soldiers in All Quiet on the Western Front also faced. There, when Paul Baumer went back home for vacation, he was not understood by the older generation or his family. He couldn’t relate to them nor could he tell them the harsh realities of the war. He was aggravated that no one understood what he was going through and I can imagine that millions of veterans today experience the same thing. Next time we see a veteran, we need to show them a friendly gesture and thank them for their service. We need to always respect the ground we walk on and also always respect the American flag. That flag is what the soldiers fight for and we need to fight and be strong with them and support our country through all its ups and downs.<br />