Write a 2-3 pages and double space about the reflection on those readings. it has to related to at least three of the course readings which has been attached below.
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Fight Club (CORE 105-015)
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When Bill Putnam called into class, he said when he sleeps he has either nightmares
or total blackness. There is nothing in between. Consider the human toll of war as you
reflect and write about the core lesson(s) learned from this class. Your answer should
include at least three course readings (one chapter=one course reading; one
article=one course reading) to address this prompt.
A portrait not just of warfare and warriors but of beleaguered patriotism
and pride. The violence recalled in Bloods is chilling. On most of its
pages hope prevails. Some of these men have witnessed the very worst
that people can inflict on one another. Their experience finally
transcends race; their dramatic monologues bear witness to humanity.
Terrys oral history captures the very essence of war, at both its best and
worst. Wallace Terry has done a great service for all Americans with
Bloods. Future historians will find his case studies extremely useful, and
they will be hard pressed to ignore the role of blacks, as too often has
been the case in past wars.
The Washington Post Book World
Wallace Terry set out to write an oral history of American blacks who
fought for their country in Vietnam, but he did better than that. He wrote
a compelling portrait of Americans in combat, and used his words so that
the readerblack or whiteknows the soldiers as men and Americans,
their race overshadowed by the larger humanity Terry conveys. This is
not light reading, but it is literature with the ring of truth that shows the
reader worlds through the eyes of others. You cant ask much more from a
book than that.
Bloods is a major contribution to the literature of this war. For the first
time a book has detailed the inequities blacks faced at home and on the
battlefield. Their war stories involve not only Vietnam, but Harlem,
Watts, Washington D.C. and small-town America.
I wish Bloods were longer, and I hope it makes the start of a
comprehensive oral and analytic history of blacks in Vietnam. They see
their experiences as Americans, and as blacks who live in, but are
sometimes at odds with, America. The results are sometimes stirring,
sometimes appalling, but this three-tiered perspective heightens and
shadows every tale.
The Village Voice
Wallace Terry was in Vietnam from 1967 through 1969. In this book
he has backtracked, Studs Terkel-like, and found twenty black veterans of
the Vietnam War and let them spill their guts. And they do; oh, how they
do. The language is raw, naked, a brick through a window on a still night.
At the height of tension a sweet story, a soft story, drops into view. The
veterans talk about fighting two wars: Vietnam and racism. They talk
about fighting alongside the Ku Klux Klan.
The Boston Globe
The good, bad and the ugly of that war in one finely edited work. Terry.
uses oral histories to provide the most comprehensive vision of
those who foughtand returnedthat has yet been produced. Almost
any glowing adjectiveor group of adjectives, for that mattercan be
used to describe Bloods.
Detroit Free Press
This is an invaluable addition to the expanding legion of histories about
the Vietnam War. A graphically illuminating but disquieting collection
of twenty personal accounts reflecting the black military experience in
Vietnam Through their recollections of the war, we see Americas
internal racial strife set against a major conflict.
The soldiers descriptions of the wars ugliness and that of Americans
fighting and dying were so dramatically explicit a reader could visualize
himself shivering in the monsoon rain, stalking through muddy swamps,
and witnessing comrades cut the ears off dead Vietcong rebels to wear on
their dog chains. Bloods is an attention-keeper. It lets the reader relive
the emotions and the turmoil of these men during the war and upon
returning home. Bloods recovers once-lost pages of the Vietnam War
that should never be forgotten again.
Although Bloods are what black soldiers called themselves in Vietnam,
the title also suggests the racism, vileness and bloodletting they
experienced in Americas most unpopular war. But more than just a
black view of the Vietnam conflict, the book is an absolute condemnation
of war. If your eyes dont mist during one of the chapters, your tear ducts
Los Angeles Times
2006 Presidio Press Mass Market Edition
Copyright © 1984 by Wallace Terry
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Presidio Press, an imprint of The Random House Publishing
Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. Originally published by Random House, an
imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., in 1984.
PRESIDIO PRESS and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.
This edition published by arrangement with Random House, Inc.
I have an intuitive feeling that the Negro servicemen have a
better understanding than whites of what the war is about.
General William C. Westmoreland, U.S. Army, Saigon, 1967
The Bloods is us.
Gene Woodley, Former Combat Paratrooper, Baltimore, 1983
Private First Class Reginald Malik Edwards
Specialist 5 Harold Light Bulb Bryant
Specialist 4 Richard J. Ford III
Specialist 4 Charles Strong
HM2 Luther C. Benton III
Specialist 5 Emmanuel J. Holloman
Specialist 4 Haywood T. The Kid Kirkland
First Lieutenant Archie Joe Biggers
Specialist 4 Stephen A. Howard
Captain Norman Alexander McDaniel
Sergeant Major Edgar A. Huff
Staff Sergeant Don F. Browne
Specialist 4 Robert L. Mountain
Lieutenant Commander William S. Norman
Specialist 4 Robert E. Holcomb
Captain Joseph B. Anderson, Jr.
Sergeant Robert L. Daniels
Specialist 4 Arthur E. Gene Woodley, Jr.
Radarman Second Class Dwyte A. Brown
Colonel Fred V. Cherry
Chronology of Major Events
About the Author
In early 1967, while at the Washington bureau of Time magazine, I
received a telephone call from Richard Clurman, then chief of
correspondents. Clurman wanted me to fly to Saigon to help report a
cover story on the role of the black soldier in the Vietnam War. Already
the war was dividing the Nation deeply. In the black community, highly
popular figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr., and Cassius Clay were
speaking out against it.
I gladly accepted the assignment.
The attention President Lyndon Johnson was giving to the Great
Society and civil rights progress, which I was covering at the time, was
being eroded by his increasing preoccupation with the war. The war was
destroying the bright promises for social and economic change in the
black community. I was losing a great story on the home-front to a
greater story on the battlefront.
At that moment the Armed Forces seemed to represent the most
integrated institution in American society. For the first time blacks were
fully integrated in combat and fruitfully employed in positions of
leadership. The Pentagon was praising the gallant, hard-fighting black
soldier, who was dying at a greater rate, proportionately, than American
soldiers of other races. In the early years of the fighting, blacks made up
23 percent of the fatalities. In Vietnam, Uncle Sam was an equal
opportunity employer. That, too, made Vietnam a compelling story.
And finally, Vietnam was, as I told my worried wife who was concerned
about my safety, the war of my generation.
In May of 1967 I reported in Time that I found most black soldiers in
Vietnam supported the war effort, because they believed America was
guaranteeing the sovereignty of a democratically constituted government
in South Vietnam and halting the spread of communism in Southeast
Asia. President Johnson called me to the White House to hear that
assessment first-hand; he was pleased by my briefing.
Later that year I returned to Vietnam for a two-year assignment that
ended when I witnessed the withdrawal of the first American forces in
1969. Black combat fatalities had dropped to 14 percent, still
proportionately higher than the 11 percent which blacks represented in
the American population. But by that same year a new black soldier had
appeared. The war had used up the professionals who found in military
service fuller and fairer employment opportunities than blacks could find
in civilian society, and who found in uniform a supreme test of their black
manhood. Replacing the careerists were black draftees, many just steps
removed from marching in the Civil Rights Movement or rioting in the
rebellions that swept the urban ghettos from Harlem to Watts. All were
filled with a new sense of black pride and purpose. They spoke loudest
against the discrimination they encountered on the battlefield in
decorations, promotion and duty assignments. They chose not to overlook
the racial insults, cross-burnings and Confederate flags of their white
comrades. They called for unity among black brothers on the battlefield
to protest these indignities and provide mutual support. And they called
In the last years of the American presence, both black soldier and white
fought to survive a war they knew they would never win in the
conventional sense. And, often, they fought each other. The war, which
had bitterly divided America like no other issue since the Civil War, had
become a double battleground, pitting American soldier against American
soldier. The spirit of foxhole brotherhood I found in 1967 had evaporated.
In the years since the collapse of the Saigon government to the
victorious Communist forces, I have believed that America owed the black
veterans of the war a special debt. There were no flags waving or drums
beating upon the return of any Vietnam veterans, who were blamed by
the right in our society for losing the war, and by the left for being the
killers of the innocent. But what can be said about the dysfunction of
Vietnam veterans in general can be doubled in its impact upon most
blacks; they hoped to come home to more than they had before; they
came home to less. Black unemployment among black veterans is more
than double the rate for white veterans. The doors to the Great Society
had been shut.
Among the 20 men who portray their war and postwar experiences in
this book, I sought a representative cross-section of the black combat
force. Enlisted men, non-commissioned officers, and commissioned
officers. Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. Those with urban
backgrounds, and those from rural areas. Those for whom the war had a
devastating impact, and those for whom the war basically was an
opportunity to advance in a career dedicated to protecting American
interests. All of them had won a badge of courage in combat, whether on
a patrol boat or in a POW camp, on a night ambush or in the skies above
North Vietnam, as medics and platoon leaders, as fighters pilots and
These stories are not to be found in the expanding body of Vietnam
literature; they deservedly belong in the forefront because of the unique
experience of the black Vietnam veteran. He fought at a time when his
sisters and brothers were fighting and dying at home for equal rights and
greater opportunities, for a color-blind nation promised to him in the
Constitution he swore to defend. He fought at a time when some of his
leaders chastised him for waging war against a people of color, and when
his Communist foe appealed to him to take up arms instead against the
forces of racism in America. The loyalty of the black Vietnam War veteran
stood a greater test on the battleground than did the loyalty of any other
American soldier in Vietnam; his patriotism begs a special salute at home.
Above all, his experience requires the special notice of history, as it
judges and continues to judge the Vietnam saga. In any black soldier of
Vietnam can be found the darkness that is at the heart of all wars. What
the black veteran illuminates in these pages of his own humanity as well
as racial perception will help complete the missing pages of the American
experience, and add to the pages of universal understanding of mans
most terrible occupation.
When my youngest child, David, was still a baby, I learned about the
death of the youngest American soldier who would die in combat in
Vietnam. I was visiting Hoi An. The soldier was a sixteen-year-old black
Marine from a poor and broken family in Brooklyn. He had lied about his
age to join the Marines and thereby earn money to help support his
mother. I vowed then that one day I would see between the covers of a
book the story of the sacrifice of such young black men and others in the
rice paddies of Vietnam10,000 miles from the heartbreak of American
poverty and discrimination and injustice. This is that book.
And now, as I write these words, that youngest child of mine is himself
January 1, 1984
Private First Class
Reginald Malik Edwards
U.S. Marine Corps
June 1965March 1966
Im in the Amtrac with Morley Safer, right? The whole thing is getting
ready to go down. At Cam Ne. The whole bit that all America will see on
the CBS Evening News, right? Marines burning down some huts. Brought
to you by Morley Safer. Your man on the scene. August 5, 1965.
When we were getting ready for Cam Ne, the helicopters flew in first
and told them to get out of the village cause the Marines are looking for
VC. If youre left there, youre considered VC.
They told us if you receive one round from the village, you level it. So
we was coming into the village, crossing over the hedges. Its like a little
ditch, then you go through these bushes and jump across, and start kickin
Not only did we receive one round, three Marines got wounded right
off. Not only that, but one of the Marines was our favorite Marine,
Sergeant Bradford. This brother that everybody loved got shot in the
groin. So you know how we felt.
The first thing happened to me, I looked out and heres a bamboo
snake. That little short snake, the one that bites you and youre through
bookin. What do you do when a bamboo snake comin at you? You drop
your rifle with one hand, and shoot his head off. You dont think you can
do this, but you do it. So Im so rough with this snake, everybody thinks,
well, Edwards is shootin his ass off today.
So then this old man runs by. This other sergeant says, Get him,
Edwards. But I missed the old man. Now I just shot the head off a snake.
You dig what Im sayin? Damn near with one hand. M-14. But all of a
sudden, I missed this old man. Cause I really couldnt shoot him.
So Brookshes got the grenade launcherfired. Caught my man as he
was comin through the door. But what happened was it was a room full
of children. Like a schoolroom. And he was runnin back to warn the kids
that the Marines were coming. And thats who got hurt. All those little
kids and people.
Everybody wanted to see what had happened, cause it was so fucked
up. But the officers wouldnt let us go up there and look at what shit they
were in. I never got the count, but a lot of people got screwed up. I was
telling Morley Safer and his crew what was happening, but they thought I
was trippin, this Marine acting crazy, just talking shit. Cause they didnt
want to know what was going on.
So Im going on through the village. Like the way you go in, you sweep,
right? You fire at the top of the hut in case somebodys hangin in the
rafters. And if they hit the ground, you immediately fire along the
ground, waist high, to catch them on the run. Thats the way I had it
worked out, or the way the Marines taught me. Thats the process.
All of a sudden, this Vietnamese came runnin after me, telling me not
to shoot: Dont shoot. Dont shoot. See, we didnt go in the village and
look. We would just shoot first. Like you didnt go into a room to see who
was in there first. You fired and go in. So in case there was somebody
there, you want to kill them first. And we was just gonna run in, shoot
through the walls. Cause it was nothin to shoot through the walls of a
bamboo hut. You could actually set them on fire if you had tracers. That
used to be a fun thing to do. Set hootches on fire with tracers.
So he ran out in front of me. I mean hes runnin into my line of fire. I
almost killed him. But Im thinking, what the hell is wrong? So then we
went into the hut, and it was all these women and children huddled
together. I was gettin ready to wipe them off the planet. In this one hut. I
tell you, man, my knees got weak. I dropped down, and thats when I
cried. First time I cried in the Nam. I realized what I would have done. I
almost killed all them people. That was the first time I had actually had
the experience of weak knees.
Safer didnt tell them to burn the huts down with they lighters. He just
photographed it. He could have got a picture of me burning a hut, too. It
was just the way they did it. When you say level a village, you dont use
torches. Its not like in the 1800s. You use a Zippo. Now you would use a
Bic. Thats just the way we did it. You went in there with your Zippos.
Everybody. Thats why people bought Zippos. Everybody had a Zippo. It
was for burnin shit down.
I was a Hollywood Marine. I went to San Diego, but it was worse in
Parris Island. Like youve heard the horror stories of Parris Islandpeople
be marchin into the swamps. So you were happy to be in San Diego. Of
course, youre in a lot of sand, but it was always warm.
At San Diego, they had this way of driving you into this base. Its all
dark. Back roads. All of a sudden you come to this little adobe-looking
place. All of a sudden, the lights are on, and all you see are these guys
with these Smokey the Bear hats and big hands on their hips. The light is
behind them, shining through at you. You all happy to be with the
Marines. And they say, Better knock that shit off, boy. I dont want to
hear a goddamn word out of your mouth. And everybody starts cursing
and yelling and screaming at you.
My initial instinct was to laugh. But then they get right up in your face.
Thats when I started getting scared. When youre 117 pounds, 150 look
like a monster. He would just come screaming down your back, What the
hell are you looking at, shit turd? I remembered the time where you
cursed, but you didnt let anybody adult hear it. You were usually doing it
just to be funny or trying to be bold. But these people were actually
serious about cursing your ass out.
Then here it is. Six …
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