Combat High

In the essay “Combat High”, written by Sebastian Junger, shows how war can be both rewarding and exciting, but also how the war can be very costly at the same time. Many people look down upon war, but Junger does a very good job showing both the pros and cons about war. One of the ways Junger describes the war as rewarding is when he says that combat is “The only game in town.” meaning that this is what soldiers live for. Since war is a life or death situation, the soldiers take it very seriously. This explains why the soldiers were cheering when the man on the hill stopped moving. They weren’t necessarily cheering because the man died, but like Junger said, “People think we are cheering because we shot someone, but we were cheering because we just stopped someone from killing us.” Just imagine if you had people shooting at you constantly. I’m sure you would be feeling a little relieved knowing that the guy on the hill wont have a chance to shoot at you again. Another way, in which Junger displays the war as rewarding, is the relationships the soldiers build with each other. They build such meaningful relationships that Junger explains the relationships as romance, but not all relationships sexual. Junger also describes the war as exciting. Not all people would think war is exciting, but to the soldiers, it is a different story. Like Junger says, “… war is life multiplied by some number that no one has ever heard of.” Although war may be rewarding and exciting, but it also can be extremely costly.

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When the soldiers end up going home, they often have mental problems. Junger explains why when he says, “… they’re normal young men with normal emotional needs that have to be met within the very narrow options available on that hilltop.” After reading “Combat High”, I had many different thoughts going through my mind about war. I understand where Junger is coming from as he gives examples of how war is exciting and rewarding, but I don’t necessarily think the same way as him. Not saying that he is wrong by any means. An example of this is the part when all the soldiers start cheering when the guy dies. To me that seems wrong. I understand they are cheering because now that guy can’t kill them, but to me that is just morally wrong to cheer after someone has suffered that bad. Maybe that’s why I wouldn’t be a good fit to be in the army. I don’t think I could ever be the same if I saw some of the things these soldiers have to see. The soldiers have to be emotionally strong. They build such good relationships with each other that it would be really hard to see someone who is basically family to you just get shot right in front of you. After reading this story, I give anyone who has been in war great deal of sympathy and props for them doing the things they had to encounter. I never really thought about all the hardships soldiers end up going through during war, until reading “Combat High”.

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