Essay on We Were Soldiers

Essay on We Were Soldiers

Length: 1090 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

We Were Soldiers


     The Vietnam War was a nightmare for many soldiers. It re-defined the meaning of war to an entire generation. As the conflict grew it became known around the world that this was a war that could not be won. After this was realized by America the main focus became to "get out" instead of "getting a victory". In the 2002 film We Were Soldiers, directed by Randall Wallace, a true account of the first major battle in Vietnam is given. At the beginning of the film he introduces to us many of the soldiers and their families. This is a very smart technique, because it ensures that the audience not only will care about each one, but also tell them apart. Wallace exemplifies two very fundamental concepts that show up throughout this film. One shows the best of worst of humanity by illustrating to us that war is a tool for the powerful and that just because someone is your enemy does not make them evil. He also portrays both Vietcong and American soldiers in a manner that is correlative. Even though they were fighting each other for different reasons and dying for different countries, both sides were human and their deaths brought grief and sadness to someone.

     Early in the movie Mel Gibson, who plays Lt. Col. Hal Moore, is portrayed more as a husband and father than as a soldier. His wife Julie (played by Madeline Stowe) displays much support and respect for her husband and his job. Many other women were also introduced at the start of the film and later we learned who their husbands were. There were many small scenes during this segment of the movie that were both intriguing and gave an idealistic sense of realism to the film. One such scene is when Cecil Moore(played by Sloam Momsen), Moore's youngest daughter, asks her father "What is a War?" At that moment Moore tries for a few seconds to come up with the simplest answer, but when he realizes that it is not that simple he just tells her what it actually is. Another scene which dramatizes the realism of racism during that time is when Alma Givens, played by Simbi Khali(a native of Mississippi), explains to one of the wives that her husband gives respect only to those who earned it and nothing not even racism can take that away from him. Another interesting aspect about this film is that Hal Moore took the leading role in being a father-like figure to all his troops when they went i...


... middle of paper ...


...are portrayed as being evil monsters who are less human and more demon. This is not so in We Were Soldiers. The Vietcong are seen as humans who take orders, just like the Americans. There is one scene were a Vietcong soldier is reading a letter from his wife. This scene is really what demonstrates the similarities between the two sides. In the end the girl is shown reading a letter from her nations army about the death of her husband.

     A little theatrical at times, but We Were Soldiers is a great movie to see, which gives honor to the men who gave their lives in what turned out to be a divisive and politically driven war. We Were Soldiers is considerably graphic at times and is not recommended for children or sensitive adults. Basically if you have seen movies like Saving Private Ryan, Resident Evil, and Starship Troopers and they did not bother you, then you can watch this film. This film does not want the audience to walk away feeling good either. However, it challenges us to face up to a period in the past that many would relatively forget, and out of that horror we need to develop a renewed respect for the duty-bound men who lived the nightmare called the Vietnam War.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Stolen Childhood- Child Soldiers Essay

- Children in America may spend their evenings doing homework or watching television, or some adolescents may have jobs. This is normal for persons under the age of 18 in America. However right now, in other parts of the world, children are being bought, sold, and recruited into armies, where their fates and evenings are left in the hands of their leaders. Many people wonder why children are so often recruited into armies, and what happens to them once they are enlisted. Many different variables, including what are called push and pull factors, can play a role in the process of turning a child into a soldier....   [tags: Push and Pull Factors, War, Soldiers]

Good Essays
1421 words (4.1 pages)

Child Soldiers: Converting Innocent Children into Armed Killers Essay

- “I would like to give you a message, please do your best to tell the world what is happening to us, the children. So that other children do not have to pass through this violence.” These are the words of a 15-year-old girl in Uganda. Like her, there are an estimated 300,000 children under the age of eighteen who are serving as child soldiers in about thirty-six conflict zones (Shaikh). Life on the front lines often brings children face to face with the horrors of war. Too many children have personally experienced or witnessed physical violence, including executions, death squad killings, disappearances, torture, arrest, sexual abuse, bombings, forced displacement, destruction of...   [tags: Child Soldiers in Africa]

Good Essays
3190 words (9.1 pages)

Child Soldiers in Turkey Essay

- It is internationally accepted that all nations abide by the rules set forth by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child that, "State parties shall take all feasible measures to ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 15 years do not take a direct part in hostilities." Individuals aged 15 to 18 may enroll in the army if they choose so and with parental consent. After the child turns 18 he/she may be drafted to the army if the country so chooses. The Turkish government is in total agreement and acceptance of these laws....   [tags: Child Soldiers]

Good Essays
455 words (1.3 pages)

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque: The Brutality of War on Soldiers

- Erich Maria Remarque’s classic novel All Quiet on the Western Front is based on World War I; it portrays themes involving suffering, comradeship, chance and dehumanization. The novel is narrated by Paul, a young soldier in the German military, who fights on the western front during The Great War. Like many German soldiers, Paul and his fellow friends join the war after listening to the patriotic language of the older generation and particularly Kantorek, a high school history teacher. After being exposed to unbelievable scenes on the front, Paul and his fellow friends realize that war is not as glorifying and heroic as the older generation has made it sound....   [tags: the great war, german soldiers, suffering]

Good Essays
999 words (2.9 pages)

What Factors Maintained the Moral of British Soldiers on the Western Front?

- To be successful at war you need not only to have a strong army, but one that stands together emotionally and physically. “British soldiers, needed to remain morally and physically clean to assure the strength of the nation during the present crises and to assure the continued strength of future generations” The Great war was one that could of easily been dodged, as the motives of many countries as to why they joined in could be questionable, such as those of the central powers, Austria-Hungary, Germany, and the Ottoman Empire, and also the allies, Britain, France, Russia, and the United States....   [tags: emotion, physcial, army, war, soldiers]

Good Essays
1502 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on Recruitment of Child Soldiers

- "Children belong on playgrounds, not battlegrounds. The use of child soldiers is one of the most egregious human right violations of our times" affirms Rep. Jeff Fortenberry after witnessing a human tragedy, of children who were forced into military service. Today, an estimated 300,000 children under the age 18 are participating in armed conflicts worldwide. Approximately 20 countries, including The United States of America actively recruits children under age 18....   [tags: Children Soldiers Military Human Rights]

Good Essays
2598 words (7.4 pages)

Analysis of We Were Soldiers Once and YOung: Ia Drang The Battle that Changed the War in Vietnam

- ... ” Dallaire dedicates this book to four different groups of people: 1. 800,000 Rwandans who died 2. The fourteen soldiers who died under his command and their families 3. Sian Cansfield his shadow author and, 4. The families of those who serve the nation at home and in far-off lands. As the reader goes through this book they are brought into one of the most horrific events in last 20 years when “800,000 innocent Rwandan men, women and children were brutally murdered while the developed world impassive and apparently unperturbed sat back and watched the unfolding apocalypse....   [tags: military, perspective, soldiers, government]

Good Essays
1975 words (5.6 pages)

Essay on We Were Soldiers

- We Were Soldiers      The Vietnam War was a nightmare for many soldiers. It re-defined the meaning of war to an entire generation. As the conflict grew it became known around the world that this was a war that could not be won. After this was realized by America the main focus became to "get out" instead of "getting a victory". In the 2002 film We Were Soldiers, directed by Randall Wallace, a true account of the first major battle in Vietnam is given. At the beginning of the film he introduces to us many of the soldiers and their families....   [tags: Vietnam War We Were Soldiers Movies Essays]

Good Essays
1090 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Female Soldiers And Male Soldiers

- Imagine being on the frontlines fighting for America’s freedom, when all of a sudden it comes into realization that the soldier down the line is not as strong as the rest; which now causes everyone to suffer tremendously. Female soldiers do not hold the same physical abilities that a male soldier does; thus, causing soldiers on the frontlines to be aware that all soldiers alongside them are not as capable as one another. There are numerous jobs within the military fit for women, but the frontline simply, is not one of them....   [tags: Gender, Female, Woman, Male]

Good Essays
907 words (2.6 pages)

The Significance of Family Meals in Faulkner’s Barn Burning, Shall Not Perish, and Two Soldiers

- The Significance of Family Meals in Faulkner’s Barn Burning, Shall Not Perish, and Two Soldiers The meal, and more specifically the concept of the family meal, has traditional connotations of comfort and togetherness. As shown in three of Faulkner’s short stories in “The Country”, disruptions in the life of the family are often reinforced in the plot of the story by disruptions in the meal. In “Barn Burning”, Abner enters the house at dusk and “could smell the coffee from the room where they would presently eat the cold food remaining from the afternoon meal.” (14) A warm meal would indicate fulfillment and cohesiveness within the family....   [tags: Barn Burning Shall Not Perish Two Soldiers]

Free Essays
441 words (1.3 pages)