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Permanent Link to “What Was Asked of Us” Reading Journal pg.232-296"
“What Was Asked of Us” Reading Journal pg.232-296<br /> “I firmly stand by the belief that soldiers can go to war, see the shit, and then be antiwar. There should be no dividing line between that. It’s like, that’s not a valid excuse. No one can come up to me and say, You have no right to be antiwar because you were there and you did that, or You have no right to be antiwar because you put yourself in that situation. Because look at some of the great authors of our time. Was Hemmingway antiwar before he saw the shit he did, and was Kurt Vonnegut? Probably not. I signed a contract and I know that’s a valid argument that anybody has against me. Well, you put yourself in that situation, you signed that paper. No one put a gun to your head. I heard that argument all throughout the army. When someone told me, you know what, I know you hate the army but we didn’t make you do it. No one put a gun to your head. But that’s such a pretty bullshit, fucking excuse. It’s not until you actually see what is so bad about it firsthand that you can reach that conclusion. So I stand firmly by the fact that soldiers can be antiwar in the army after seeing some of the shit that they have to deal with” (Englehart 246-247).<br />This passage really stood out to me because I have never heard of any veteran turning antiwar. All around me, I always hear how passionate veterans are when they come back to war. I always see on television that the veterans that come back from war continue their duty back home in a different way. They promote the war and encourage others to join. Even soldiers that have families encourage their sons to join the army or marines. To hear that they have gone antiwar is very unusual to me. I guess I understand what this soldier is trying to say in the passage because after seeing all the gruesome deaths at war and facing all the dangers, he doesn’t want others to face the same thing. He doesn’t want any more deaths than what there already are and this is very understandable. Of course, all of us think that they are crazy and not being supportive of the country, but if we really put ourselves in this soldier’s situation by being at war and seeing firsthand the brutality of it, then maybe we would be on his side too. Society thinks that if someone is antiwar, they are un-American and aren’t doing the right thing for the country, but in reality they are just as American because they want people to live and they don’t want people to have to suffer the never ending suffering that the war brings.<br />