Phillip Caputo was a naive from Illinois community at the age of 24 when he joined the war. Caputo was enrolled in the Marine Corps after he graduated from the Loyola University in Chicago. Later in his career, Caputo made it as a lieutenant and deployed to Danang in 1965. He was among the first soldiers to go to the ground war in Vietnam. Caputo left for the Vietnam when he was a youth with a romanticized illusion of war given by the then President J. F. Kennedy. The illusion was based on the fact that the United States had never lost a war. Caputo returned ten years after the war and became a field columnist of the Chicago Tribune. In his writing, he recalls the last minutes of the war before the North Vietnamese overran the Saigon. During that time, the people try to evacuate by land, air, and sea. At this time, Caputo can experience the war in full force. Caputo together with other soldiers were left with the memories and pain of the war that lasted for a decade.
The text A Rumor of War is a recall of the world of war as Caputo experienced it. Caputo reminisces of the extreme sense of the brutality and dehumanization among the military rankings. However, in the text, Caputo still shows the reader the real meaning of being a soldier in Danang. Caputo explains vividly and thoroughly the details of the hot, rainy, muddy jungle and the military environment. The clear picture of the environment of the war captures the readers attention.
In the text, Caputo uses many military terms from which he breaks down to make the readers understand what he intends to pass to them. Caput uses terms such as ARVNS and Big Ivan. He explains the details about the military words in detail and in the process shows his readers his emotions. Caputo is able to express his inner thoughts, outlooks, and the desired that other soldiers depicted during the war. By showing the emotions of the soldiers during the war, Caputo is able to capture his audiences attention into journeying with him along the journey from where he started, as a young man to a veteran discouraged by the war and the casualties of war.
Caputo uses his text A Rumor of War to tell the story of how men came together to make the most executed and hard decisions they had to make during the war. The war was full of trials and hard times for all the soldiers, therefore they had to make tough decisions to helps them survive. The soldiers had no one else to rely on, but themselves. The worst thing was that nobody could understand their tribulations they were subjected to in Vietnam. The piece A Rumor of War by Caputo is not just about Caputos memories of the war, but also reflect on the things the soldier experienced. Although the piece may seem biased because a primary source writes it, it clearly wants the reader to understand the issues presented in the war in Vietnam. At the time of the war, many Americans were focused on the politics rather than how the war had affected their children, given that they had lost the war. A Rumor of War evidently gives the historical accounts rather than just the military strategies used to fight in the war.A Rumor of War by Caputo goes further to show how the war damaged the veterans even after the war. The veterans replaced their patriotism with disgust. They become hateful to everybody even for the innocent in the war. What the soldiers had experienced in the war could not be reverted; they came home a disoriented lot and damaged psychologically.
Caputo successfully shows the reader of the emotions that the war brought to him and the other soldiers in the war. The reader is swept by a wind of sympathy towards Caputo and the other soldiers. Given the anger, vulnerability depression and anger that surrounded the war, Caputo is able to make a mature argument that nobody would have expected. Through his own account, Caputo depicts the manner in which many soldiers lost their identity because of the war. Caputos personal identity is not spared either as he clearly shows his attitude towards death changes during his time in Danang. At first, Caputo viewed death as another casualty, but as he faced combat, he starts to see death as something much less than a heroic action.
The book is very insightful especially to people that only hear of the war. The book offers firsthand information of what the soldiers underwent and how it affected them after they came back home. Having first accounts of how the soldiers suffered in Vietnam will give the reader an insight of why the veterans felt broken after they came back to the United States. I would recommend this text to everybody colleagues, freshmen students, advanced History majors, the public, history buffs, and teachers. It would be substantial for everybody to learn of the memoirs that the all the soldiers experienced, but only Caputo was able to document from a personal point of view. It is unfortunate that many soldiers had to go through the war and come back home devastated. The text A Rumor of War provides a perspective about the war that could have otherwise been lost to later generations that were not there during the Vietnamese war.
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