Who is a Veteran?

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  • Topic: Joe Haldeman, The Forever War, Veteran
  • Pages : 3 (1094 words )
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  • Published : March 11, 2013
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Veteran, a small word…with an enormous meaning. The definition of words may be altered based upon personal perspectives. Prior to entering the course of “The Literature of The Returning Soldier” my definition of a veteran was simply someone who fought for our county, I now have expanded my ideas on the definition of what a veteran truly is. In my personal opinion, a veteran can be a man or women, they are selfless individuals who often give up their personal lives to enter a future of uncertainties. Veterans are individuals who possess characteristics including: heroism, strength, courage, and loyalty. All Quiet on The Western Front by Remarque, Slaughterhouse-Five by Vonnegut, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, and The Forever War by Joe Haldeman are true literature testaments that exemplify the characteristics of a veteran.

Courage is defined as the quality state of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty or danger. A veteran is characterized by courage because they are forced into unpredictable circumstances and to over come all unknown evils. In Remarque’s novel, All Quiet on The Western Front, the main character is Paul Baumer. Paul compares war to a deadly disease like the flu, tuberculosis, or cancer. All three illnesses are notorious for being long, painful, and emotionally/physically draining. He describes how the men are faced with deaths and horrific living circumstances each day. In the end the strong survive. It takes extreme courage to over come the struggles and obstacles. Paul reflects that, for the soldiers, life is no more than the constant avoidance of death. They have to reduce themselves to the level of unthinking animals because instinct is their best weapon against danger. I feel that at this point of the war any pre life the soldier had, especially the young ones are non-existent. The only lives that they now have are the ones they acquire during war. I wonder how their lives will be after war. In...
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