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"BE ALL THAT YOU CAN BE." This phrase is run on commercials in an attempt to try and recruit men and women to enlist in the United States Army. The commercial shows men and women completing obstacles and high tech training. Some other commercials for the United States Armed Forces use tactics, such as; awarding money for college after the recruit has spent a given amount of time in their Army, Navy, or Air Force. But, what the commercials fail to do is to depict the reality of any soldier's life post war. These commercials are not alone with false advertisement of war; Hollywood movies and books have also contributed. Society has come to glorify war and have forgotten the consequences of the men and women who went to fight for their country.
In movies, a soldier's homecoming is depicted as one of honor and courage. Hollywood tends to glamorize war and not show the true effects of the mentality of a woman or man who have just returned home after the war. In the poem, "Homespace", by Anthony Grooms, the psychological state of the soldier's return home is displayed more true to that of Hollywood's. The boy returns home and is embraced by his mother. The family has a barbeque for the boy's homecoming. Even though he is at home, where he should feel safe and secure, the boy remains in war-like state of mind. He isolates himself from everyone else, "I made myself busy with the fire/ So I wouldn't have to talk," (Line 7-8). The young man, "heard screams" (Line 9), when fuel was added to the coals. Men and women of war are tormented by the images they seen and heard. No one person at this gathering seemed to take notice of the impression that the war left on this boy, mentally. It seems as though, because the boy was home and no physical evidence appeared on his body, they assumed everything was in good condition. Not noticing the boy's problem, "Women and children laughed from the porch/ Men sat under the elms" (Line 11-12). All the while these ignorant people sat enjoying themselves, the boy, "watched the sky for the enemy" (Line 13). This last line adequately describes the mind frame of the boy and in all probability many of men and women who fight in wars for their countries.
Hollywood movies and book tend to also ignore the negative aspect of veteran's who come home to no family or a home to live in.
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"Langston Hughes' Poem, Without Benefit of Declaration." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Apr 2019
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Society tends to neglect the aftermath of a soldier's life after they have fought for their country. If commercials and Hollywood make war such an attraction, where there is always a hero who is loved and honored by everyone, then society would get the sense of what really occurs. Langston Hughes' poem, "Without Benefit of Declaration," best described Hollywood's way of detailing war. In the last four lines he states, "A medal to your family-/ In exchange for/ A guy/ Mama, don't cry." As if a medal can replace any human life. The fact that "guy" is used in relation to a mother's son is absolutely offensive. The more true depictions of war the better society can handle situations.