Revision/Reflection 4

The War Is Hell picture

Every war gives memory for peoples and soldiers who confront the war. Some memories can be painful and some memories can be pleasant. There are many wars that happened in the past which we all remember. One of the longest wars in the history is Vietnam war, from 1955 to 1975 during the period of president kennedy. The Vietnam War, happened in the South Vietnam, is the war between communist countries and capitalist countries.  The war gives a lot of memories for us to remember such as the picture of an american soldier who wears a hamlet which is written with “War Is Hell”. The historical events of the war influence all the soldiers, leaving bad impression from the war. The picture, taken during the Vietnam War, shows negative effect on the soldiers from the war and also implies that all the soldiers have a chance to develop the post traumatic stress disorders.

Every war has picture that captures some unforgettable moments. In Vietnam War, there are some pictures taken in South Vietnam and one of them is the War Is Hell. The War Is Hell picture is taken on June 18, 1965,happened in the South Vietnam. It is taken in Phouc Vinh airstrip in South Vietnam by Horst Faas. The man in the picture named Larry Wayne Chaffin, is an american soldier who works in the Phouc Vinh airstrip. He is the duty guard in that base. Nevertheless, the person who takes this photo is disreputable of taking war photos. But this picture exclusively captures the best moment of the soldier’s feeling of the war.

This picture probably is one of the best pictures that Horst Faas has ever taken. The picture gives us the negative feeling and attitude of all the soldiers toward the war. For example, this american soldier writes the texts on his helmet, which can implies to all the soldiers’ attitude. “The headband message ‘War is Hell’ typified an acerbic attitude of many young American soldiers who were likely drafted and sent to the remote southeastern Asia jungles to engage in deadly and terrifying combat. A lot of the soldiers wrote graffiti on their helmets with inscriptions of their attitudes about where they were and why they were there” (Rare Historical Photos). This American soldier is so young and inexperienced about the world, therefore he writes the texts on his helmet to express his feeling and his confusion directly. At that age, he should enjoy his young life as a teenage, instead he has to serve the war and spend his life with fear and deathlike people. In the picture, he is smiling like an innocent boy, but through his eyes there is full of anxiety and feeling of fear.

Without this photo, people won’t know and understand how the soldiers feel at that time in the war. As time passes, people will forget and ignore the history. Therefore, the photographer Horst Faas is one important photographers in Vietnam War because he captures the best moment of the war. Horst Faas was born in Germany. He starts his career as a photographer as the age of 21. In Vietnam War, his is a photo editor and also a photojournalist. “He was instrumental at getting two of the most famous Vietnam War pictures published the Vietnam Execution and the shot of naked Vietnamese girl running down the road. He 1967 an injury after he was hit by a RPG almost ended his life and left him with serious injuries to his legs” (Associated Press Photos). This event makes it hard for him to work, but as a courageous man, he continues his career until the end of the war.

This picture is not only about a man in soldier suit taking picture in the war with his smiley face, but also relates to the historical event and the disagreement among countries that cause the conflict and creation of the war. The cause of the Vietnam War starts from the turning point in Asia when China becomes a communist country in 1940. Because capitalist countries afraid that some parts in Asia will become the communist country, so they intervened in those countries to prevent the spreading of communism. “The French lost control of Vietnam was about the time the Korean war ended which had left the country partitioned into North and South Korea with China and USSR actively supported the North communist government. Then U.S. President Eisenhower regarded Vietnam as Korea all over again and feared the whole Southeast Asia including Laos, Cambodia, Thailand would fall to communism in a domino effect as similar as what had happened in Eastern Europe (Domino theory). The loss of that essential regional trading area would encourage Taiwan, Japan, Australia and New Zealand to compromise politically with communism. Therefore, the U.S. intervened in Vietnam trying to keep the South Vietnamese “domino” from falling” (Rohn). When the U.S. intervened in Vietnam, Vietnamese all think that it is a colony war. The war begins afterward by super power countries and it seemed to be a big problem for everyone in the world.

During the war, many people have suffered. Some family are killed, some are lost, but all the people suffer from the war. Also, all the soldiers are suffered from the war. They have been through many new things in their life and they have to bear with the unending war. Some American soldiers have to suffer from the loud bomb, accidentally wound, and the most cruel event, the lost of their soldier friends. Sometimes they have to stay in the battle for almost a month. They are fear, they are dirty with all the sweat, but they still fight for the country. “U.S troops also suffered many psychological traumas. They often had to witnesses their fellows and friends being killed or disfigured by mines, booby-traps and sniper fire while unable to take retaliatory actions as the enemy avoided to engage in conventional warfare” (Tung). This fear can discourage the soldiers to fight and make them lose their discipline on their duty. Moreover, what brings American Soldier discouragement on fighting is the area in the battlefield. Vietnam has many complicated areas that American soldiers are not familiar with. This can be the most disadvantage for American soldiers. On the other hand, there are some good events that happen in the war. The local people are nice to them and willing to let the soldiers join their activities and culture.

Local people in Vietnam are nice and friendly. They share and teach their culture to the American soldiers. They sometimes help the American soldier if necessary. Moreover, the South Vietnamese trust that the American soldiers will help them and will not let them become the communist. Both American soldiers and local Vietnamese people understand each other even though they are born in a totally different cultures. During the war they trust and help each other and become united. Moreover, they teach each other new stuffs and love each other during hard time in life. “At the same time, the task of gaining trust and love of local people whom speak a completely different language often seemed impossible” (Thug). From all of those cares, the American soldiers have some fun lifestyles in Vietnam. This can make them feel better and not be depressed all the time. They can relax and focus on their duty at the same time.

American soldiers have an unique lifestyle in Vietnam and they are enjoying it. During the battle, all the soldiers must be depressed from the war, so they need some activities to reduce their depression. Some soldiers drink and some soldiers do other activities such as playing cards, exercising, dating with Vietnamese girls or other girls in neighborhood countries, and so on. “Open mess clubs, which served food and alcohol and often featured live entertainment, abounded throughout South Vietnam. At its peak in 1969, Long Binh’s club system had 40 bars with a net worth of $1.2 million, including $270,000 in cash on hand. If soldiers didn’t like club life, Long Binh’s retail stores stocked food and alcohol to host private parties at the pools, barracks, or barbecue pits. An unofficial brothel, a “male beauty bar” with salon services, and outdoor movies rounded out Long Binh’s offerings” (LAIR). These things are something that American soldiers and Vietnamese soldiers need and deserve from the hard war. Everyday they have to struggle with dead bodies and unbelievable scenes. In some battles, they have to stay for many weeks or months. Therefore, if they have something to comfort or entertain them, some clubs or bars would be best treat for them in that moment.

After all, The Vietnam War obviously has a major impact on both Vietnam and America. For Vietnam, many areas are destroyed and the population in Vietnam are suffered from losses. They lose their friends, family, house, and career. During the war, U.S. military drops million of bombs which blow up many villages in Vietnam. “America also dropped anti-personnel mines by the thousands. One plane could drop a thousand of these in one flight. These mines could be made out of either metal or plastic and had the potential to inflict major injuries on anyone who trod on them” (C N Trueman). Bombing is never a good thing for war because it costs a lot of money and a decrease to population. This strategy to win the war cause the many losses and also loss of people feeling and mind. They will be under the post traumatic stress disorders for the rest of their life.

Most American soldiers experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, severe injuries, mental loss, and serious diseases after the war ends. Many American soldiers cannot adjust to the civilian life after they come back from the war and some cannot get rid of post traumatic stress disorders. One American soldier gives an interview that he cannot deal with his past and every time there is always a flashback from the war coming up in his mind. “It was Vietnam telling me, ‘It’s time to deal with me now.’” Depressed and unable to function, he left his job and went home to Massachusetts to “re-charge his batteries” on a friend’s suggestion” (Success Story: Roy). Some soldiers can cope with the traumatic war, but they take a long time and a lot of effort to get over it. Some soldiers have to stay with those pasts forever. Sometimes they cannot get over it, and they will kill themselves to end those pains.

All the negative influences to the soldiers, shown in pictures, share informations that war constantly pressures citizens and soldiers, both physically and mentally. However, people also see positive things from the war such as kindness from local Vietnamese. Also valuable information from the pictures can be important resources for people because they can not only learn but also feel from them. 



I chooses to revise this essay because this essay is the last assignment and it is the longest one. I took a lot of effort and time to do this essay. Therefore, I assume that this essay must be one of the most important to me. It is also has it own unique style because it has to be done with the picture and everything I write about is related to the picture. For this assignment, my strength is the informations that I provided. All of the informations describe the picture. Also the way I organize my picture is my second strength. I connect them event by event to make the audience understand my point easily. My weakness on this essay is grammar and thesis statement. It is very hard to make the thesis statement on this essay because I have the connect the picture with the event that happened in that picture. Also, I have to make up thesis statement mostly about the picture. Moreover, the most important thing during my writing is how to write the essay and make it clear and easy to understand. I want the reader to understand my point of writing this essay and also understand why this picture is important and ironic picture. I write this kind of essay before, so actually I relearning the writing technique. But the new thing I have learned is to connect the thesis statement with the picture. Normally, I just create thesis statement with an event, but this time I create thesis statement with the picture and the event.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s