The VietInnocent Essay Research Paper The VietInnocentImagine

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The Viet-Innocent Essay, Research Paper The Viet-Innocent Imagine yourself in a newly strange, unfamiliar tropical jungle environment. The catch is, your purpose is not to take eye-catching photographs for National Geographic magazine. Instead, you are assigned to kill people of a foreign land you have never seen before, because your government tells you it is the patriotic, honorable duty you owe your country. Everything is all right in the beginning. You arrive in Vietnam, familiarize yourself with your platoon, acquaintances and close friends alike. The worst things so far are the irritating, annoying insects that buzz around you in the midst of the tropical heat while wearing a hot, uncomfortable marine uniform, while carrying a heavy backpack and a semi-automatic weapon,

and fatigue from hiking and digging numerous trenches. Until one night in the jungle, someone you are perhaps close with is blown to pieces before your eyes. Its possible the only thing left of them is sadly their lower half. It is the first time you have witnessed another human being violently, grotesquely mutilated to unexpected death in only a matter of a second. Emotions are raging through you: fear, anger, shock, frustration, paranoia, sadness, and maybe after seeing this numerous times, you might actually, but sickly enough begin to laugh. Not at all the death that is around you, but realizing that the fighting never seems to end and that this is the life to which you must be accustomed. You can not tell apart the Viet-Kong from regular civilians, since they can be

anyone-even women and children. You are unable to communicate with anyone in this land because they do not speak your language and you do not speak theirs. You do not know exactly what intentions any random person of this foreign land may have; you only know you are there to carry out one specific task-kill the Viet-Kong. This is difficult when they are indistinguishable from regular civilians. Now imagine experiencing this every day for a year, or until you are the one who becomes a statistic. The people here are no longer people, but instead referred to as gooks, slant-eyes, or Charlie: the enemy. Many soldiers who committed unspeakable acts of brutality against the people of Vietnam are not responsible for their actions and were heavily influenced to do so against their

conscience and will. We as a nation may view the soldiers who partook in incidents such as the My Lai massacre with disgust, embarrassment, and disappointment, as they are representative of our country. Nevertheless, we must consider the unexpected motives and circumstantial situations that led them to do so. Constant exposure to daily routine violence and death among fellow soldiers/friends, the inability to distinguish the enemy from regular civilians, and the US government itself all contributed to the commitment of atrociously brutal and ruthlessly violent acts against Vietnamese civilians. There were thousands of soldiers who experienced pressures and conditions that influenced the gradual alteration of their state of mind. Many soldiers experienced fellow platoon members

getting so horrifically wounded from battle to the point of permanently intense disfiguration and more commonly death. Of these statistics, some would no longer partake in the fighting against the Vietnamese or normal routine life the way they knew it before the war-forever handicapped. The majority however, would no longer live to again embrace their families, friends, significant others, and perhaps even children. According to Kregg P.J. Jorgenson s Beaucoup Dinky Dau: Odd, Unusual, and Unique Stories of the Vietnam War, Peter Martinsen, a former Vietnam veteran recalls of a fellow platoon member: He just sat there in the grass just laughing. He’s laughing and he’s yelling. “Goddamn, I’m hit. You know what this means? I’m getting out of this shit!” He’s pointing