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Medics Chapter 3 Summary

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Chapter 3 entitled “Medics” is particularly significant due to its illustration of the unique physical and psychological effects of the war on army medics. This response will assess the significance of the author’s goal in this chapter and discuss the methods he employs to achieve it. Ultimately, by looking at this small aspect of the war in Vietnam, one can gain a much deeper understanding of the unique and complex individuals involved. In this chapter, Glasser’s goal seems to be two-fold: 1) to shed light on the physical sacrifices and acts of bravery committed by medics and 2) to illustrate the unique psychological effects of the war on army medics. More specifically, Glasser makes the argument that medics were motivated to risk their…show more content…
He explains that the psychological effect of the war on medics (as is evident from these stories) was so substantial, that they army reduced their required term of service from 12 to 7 months. Completely consumed by their roles as “protectors” and “saviors,” medics often limited their own food so that they could carry more medical supplies. They stole extra plasma to bring into battle and even asked their family members to send them additional medical supplies. In truth, the sacrificial behavior of medics was so predictable that the Viet Cong intentionally wounded (rather than killed) American soldiers in an attempt to lure nearby medics into the line of fire. Ultimately, this chapter is extremely significant because it provides added nuance to the reader’s understanding of the war and tells stories of bravery and sacrifice that might have otherwise been forever lost to history. Although the soldiers of Vietnam tend to be portrayed as poorly trained and unruly, Glasser exposes this mistaken generalization in his treatment of army medics. Thus, the reader is granted an intimate glimpse into an aspect of the Vietnam War that is rarely discussed in history courses or popular discourse. In this respect, chapter 3 offers the best contribution to Glasser’s overall goal of preserving the memories of those who served in Vietnam, a war which is all to often over-generalized or ignored
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