In Someone Else's Eyes

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In Someone Else's Eyes

Many young people develop our concept of war through our schooling and the media. We had no knowledge of what war is first hand until the current "war on terrorism." Still the majority of us have not seen warfare up close; we have not felt the many emotions that warfare carries with it. For many individuals war brings pain and suffering, while for others it brings freedom and liberation. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, war is "an actual intentional and widespread armed conflict between political communities"(Orend). This definition is flexible enough to include civil wars while not too broad to exclude conflicts in trade.

There are several positions that one can hold when it comes to war. The three main positions held are political realism, just war theory, and pacifism. Political realists believe a country should go to war if it is in their national interest. Just war theorists' believe that war is okay in certain situations as long as the country follows the "rules of war." Pacifists believe that war is never okay and is always wrong. For my Honors 103 class at California State University San Bernardino I was required to interview a war Veteran. Going into this interview I believed in the just war theory. This interview only reinforced my beliefs.

Only those who have experienced war first hand truly understand war. The closest I can come to this understanding without participating in war myself is to learn about those experiences from people who have been through them and try to put myself in their shoes, to try to experience war through them. This will give me the foundation needed to understand war and what comes along with it. I hope to do this by sharing with you my experience interviewing a war veteran. I interviewed Leo Maas, a former soldier who fought for our country in both World War II and in the Korean War. The experiences he shared with me were unexpected. He put war into a new light for me.

When Leo joined the Navy, he was only 17, and the WWII had yet to begin. Before the war had even begun, he saw the tragedy that it could bring. He spent some time on a crash crew at a flight school, and there were plenty of accidents. So at an age when many teenagers' problems are who to take to the prom, this young soldier had to pick up what was left of these young pilots.
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