A big issue for veterans is suicide. It is hard or impossible for some veterans to adjust back to normal lifer after war. Take Norman Bowker for example, he could not adjust and commited suicide. On the other hand veterans like Tim are able to easily go back to regular daily life. After the war many soldiers think that nothing is real or tangible in their lives. Some soldiers just can seem to fill the void that was ripped open by the war.
I think that it is very kind of Jimmy Cross to feel the need to write Kiowa’s father about his death. I feel bad for Jimmy Cross; he thinks that Kiowa’s death was his fault. In reality I think his death was fate. I do not think that it was Jimmy’s fault because he was only following orders and that is what soldiers are taught to do. Also, I think some of the soldiers did not realize how bad ther fields were. Some of the soldiers made jokes about the muck fields while others looked at them with shame. The soldiers that were filled with shame are the ones who looked death in the eyes.
A passage I reacted strongly to was, “I did not dlook on my work as therapy, and still don’t. Yet when I recieved Norman Bowker’s letter, it occured to me that the act of writing has led me throught a swirl of memories that might otherwise have ended in paralysis or worse. By telling stories, you objectify your own experience. You separate it from yourself. You pin down certain truths. You make up others. You start sometimes with an incident that truly happened, like the night in the s*** field, and you carry it forward by inventing incidents that did not occur but that noetheless help to clarify and explain” (O’Brien 158). This passage stood out to me because I think it helps clarify PTSD. Tim is basically saying that his writings are what kept the memories, nightsweats, and flash backs from flooding into his mind. Many soldiers that came back essientially lost their minds. I think that Tim stayed sane because he found a non-destructive outlet. Other soldiers might come back and find there outlet through sexual relations or alcohol, but Tim stayed healthy and found his outlet in writing. He found a way to tell his stories even if no one was around to listen.