•April 15, 2010 • 1 Comment
I think that even though Jessi was tortured, sexually assaulted, and drugged, she was very fortunate to make it out alive. She was the only soldier in the entire lost convoy who escaped the war. It is saddening to think that these soldiers cared so much for each other and they did everything in their power to keep each other safe while trying to serve the country, but in the end, their efforts did not pay off and only one survived. Jessi is the only person who can tell the story, and I am glad she is willing to because it is a very touching story. I also think she was very fortunate to have such good care at the hospital. It is completely understandable that she didn’t trust the Iraqi hospital staff, and it is only expected that she would lash out at them for trying to put her to sleep and operate on her. However, I do believe that this hospitality from the Iraqi doctors and nurses shows courage. They could have easily been caught trying to treat an American soldier, but they managed to do so without being caught. Taking a risk like that for an enemy soldier is beyond just caring for someone. It really shows how contradictory human nature can be sometimes. It is human nature to fight and kill one another, but at the same time, it is human nature to care for each other and want to help other human beings who may be sick or injured. I do not know why human nature is like that, but I guess it just depends on the person and how he/she was raised.
•April 2, 2010 • Leave a Comment
A personal victory for me was narrowing down my topic and choosing one specific subject to research. I had many choices and I considered brain injuries, sexual harassment toward women in the Navy, and veterans’ suicides. I chose veterans’ suicides. I did so because my life has personally been touched by suicide. It is interesting to me knowing that so many veterans’ commit suicide and not much is being done about it. What I want to know is why veterans choose suicide. I have always assumed that it was just the stress of being in war or the guilt of having to kill other human beings. However, now that I have read a few articles, I realize that stress and/or guilt is not always the case. I also want to know what can be done to help veterans who are contemplating suicide. Surely there has to be a special type of therapy that can prevent veterans from committing suicide for whatever reason. Lastly, I want to know what is being done about this issue right now. I want to know if soldiers are warned about the possibility of having suicidal thoughts and whether or not there is specific training they go through to prevent this kind of behavior. So far, I have bookmarked about 10 different articles from various databases and also from the suggested sites Ms. Hamilton put on the pathfinder. I have learned a lot through these articles and I think I am going to be very successful with this research paper.
•April 1, 2010 • 3 Comments
I find what Jessi’s Iraqi captors did to her sickening. Her entire body was mutilated-almost to the point of her being dead. She had nerve damage, several broken and shattered bones, and was slipping in and out of consciousness at the hospital. She was so scared because of her wounds that she did not want the doctors to reset one of her legs. She was afraid of what they might have done and distrusted them strongly. One passage that shows how badly her body was distorted is, “Her right arm was shattered between her shoulder and her elbow, and the compound fracture shoved slivers of bone through muscles, nerves, and skin, leaving her right hand all but useless. Her spine was fractured in two places, causing nerve damage that left her unable to control her kidneys and bowels. Her right foot was crushed. Her left leg had been into pieces above and below the knee, also a compound fracture, and splintered bone had made a mess of the nerves and left her without feeling in that limb. The flesh along the hairline of her forehead was torn in a ragged, four-inch line…she was a victim of anal sexual assault..” (Bragg 95-96). This passage is extremely disturbing and I hate that this happens. However, there is one thing that I do not understand. Jessi was treated by Iraqi doctors and nurses. Why did those medical personnel want to treat her when other Iraqis wanted to torture and kill her? I can’t imagine Saddam being pleased to hear that an American soldier was treated by Iraqi doctors.
•March 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment
I am choosing to do my research paper on veterans’ suicides. I am interested in this topic because I want to be a soldier in the Army or an airman in the Air Force when I graduate college and I would like to know more about the effects of war on people in the military and how to prevent depression from developing as a result. I am also interested in psychology and would like to figure out what about war makes these soldiers go over the edge. I think it is important to learn more about because these are the men and women who fight in our defense and everything possible should be done to keep them safe just as they keep us safe.
I already know that many soldiers commit suicide as a result of fighting in wars. I also know that many other soldiers who do not commit suicide still have severe depression. I always assumed that it was the stress and guilt of having to kill people to protect the country that made soldiers slip into depression. However, now I want to know more. I do not know the statistics of veterans’ suicides or during which wars suicides have been most common. I would also like to know what is being done about this issue and if there is any future hope to reduce the number of veterans who commit suicide or develop depression. One last thing I would like to know is how to prevent it from happening. I think if there is any way to prevent suicide in people from the military, the news should be spread and put to good use.
•March 25, 2010 • 1 Comment
I am very glad that we now have Evernote as one of the tools that we can use for our research. I like it a lot more than Diigo because it is easy to use and it has a simple yet effective layout. It is easy to bookmark a source that I use in my research because all I have to do is highlight a certain portion of the text that I read and click on the elephant in my toolbar. I can even save a whole web page to my Evernote account without having to highlight anything. It is also easy to use because of the way it laid out. I can choose any of three different ways to view my notes. These options are helpful because one person may want to keep track of their sources by looking at the picture of it on a thumbnail while another person may want to organize them by the title. I also like Evernote because it automatically attaches the URL and the title of the article from a source I use in research. Evernote has helped me keep track of the possible veterans’ issues research topics I have been considering from brain trauma to soldiers’ suicides. The only thing I wish I could change about Evernote is that it will not allow me to drag my notes around. I would like to have them organized by topic, but Evernote will only let me have them organized by date added, title, author, size, or URL. It would be easier for me to have them organized by topic so that I can have all my bookmarks for brain trauma together and all of the bookmarks for suicide together instead of having to look for them through all of my bookmarked sources.
•March 25, 2010 • 2 Comments
Just like in chapters 1-4, I found a lot of similarities to All Quiet on the Western Front in chapters 5-9. Just like Paul became best friends with his comrade Kat through war, Jessica had become best friends with Lori. Jessica mentions that if the two of them had not been roommates at Fort Bliss, they probably would not have been best friends. Similarly, Paul and Kat probably would not have been best friends if the military had not placed them in the same company. Just like Kat, Lori is more experienced because she is a former Marine. She went to the Army at twenty-two because of injuries. The beginning of chapter six reminds me of All Quiet on the Western Front when the soldiers are on the front and enveloped in gas. In I Am A Soldier, Too Jessica says that she and her fellow soldiers would be woken in the middle of the night by gas from their commanders. Although this incident is just for training, it is like the one in All Quiet on the Western Front because everyone is scrambling for their masks and protective clothing and screaming, “Gas, gas!”. However, there is one thing that I have found to be very different from All Quiet on the Western Front. The soldiers in I Am A Soldier, Too actually have former lives. Many of them, such as Lori, have families to go home to. In All Quiet on the Western Front, the soldiers had no chance to have a former life because they were preached to about war in high school. It is the difference in times that causes this variation. The soldiers from I Am A Soldier, Too did not have a patriotic teacher like Kemmerich who told them to be loyal to the country and serve in the military.
•March 18, 2010 • 1 Comment
I Am A Soldier, Too is similar to All Quiet On The Western Front in many ways from the way Jessica did not want to be left behind by her fellow soldiers to how the convoy dwindled in number from day to day. In All Quiet On The Western Front, the soldiers considered each other to be family and did not want to leave anyone behind or be left behind by their comrades. All the same in, I Am A Soldier, Too, Jessica Lynch states that she was most afraid of being left behind by the other soldiers in her company. Another way the two stories are similar is the way they start off. In All Quiet On The Western Front, almost half of Paul’s company is lost to the front in the beginning. When I Am A Soldier, Too starts out, Jessica’s convoy is losing people left and right. The author states that the trucks had been breaking down and falling behind. In just two days, the convoy had gone from thirty-three vehicles to just eighteen. The vehicles that were left behind had lost radio contact with the rest of the convoy, including Jessica’s, which is when she started to worry about being left behind permanently. One more way that the two novels are similar is that the earth seems to provide comfort for the characters. In All Quiet On The Western Front, the Earth was a symbol for protection and comfort. In I Am A Soldier, Too, Jessica feels soothed by the sight of trees because she had grown up in the woods. She did not like the sand because it was so loose compared to the solid forest floor she had grown up with.