“Fearless” and “courageous”; two common words that have been used to describe soldiers for centuries. There is, however, a big difference between being courageous and being fearless. Courage is one of the best terms used to describe a soldier: that no matter how hard the circumstances are and how scared he/she is, they keep pressing on. It is truly amazing how courageous these men and women are. Humans were made to fear, it is humanly impossible to be without fear, there is no soldier that is truly “fearless”. Soldiers at war often put up a front that they are unafraid, the reason they put up this front is to be trusted by fellow soldiers, to fit into society's view of a soldier and to maintain their sanity.
The world often perceives fear as a sign of weakness. The word fear is defined as a “feeling of anxiety or agitation caused by the presence or nearness of danger, evil, or pain. Extreme fear is terror which applies to an overwhelming often paralyzing fear” (Fear”). In the heat of battle, a soldier's senses are heightened to the danger that surrounds him. Any civilian in these circumstances would choose to run and hide or escape, but the soldier has been trained not to selfishly retreat, but to heed orders and advance. He/she may know his/her life is in grave danger, yet for the sake of courage and duty to his/her country he continues on. The courage that a soldier surrounds themself with is the quality of spirit which enables one to face danger or pain without showing fear. If a soldier falters he or she may be dismissed but will certainly not be trusted by his/her fellow soldiers. Each soldier desires trust, loyalty, and respect and each of their lives depend on it. The soldier makes a choice to lay his or her individual fears and emotions aside to be courageous. In the short story, “The Things They Carried”, by Tim O'Brien, not only were the physical items that they carried described but also the emotional burdens they carried. “They carried shameful...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document