Realities of War

The website Historynet.com has a section were veterans of the Vietnam War tell their stories. I read one that stood out to me about George Banda: Medical Specialist 4, 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division. His story is a very real, raw, sad one about the realities of war. One day, he and others, were stationed out in this dangerous location when they were attacked. 37 Americans ended up dying during that event, and Banda was almost one of them (he was shot on the side of his head). However, the most important part was Banda trying to save his friend, Ed. Banda recounts how he managed to carry Ed up a hill, stay with him and try it keep this dying man awake. Sadly unfair, even though helped arrived, Ed still passed away. This story seems to be something out of a movie (Forrest Gump, maybe) a man hit still trying to save his comrades.

As Banda describes his story of trying to save Ed, I couldn’t help but feel upset. Just imagining that situation makes me tense up, it had such serious consequences (as war often does). Banda must have considered his decision would mean danger or relative safety, helping others or yourself, life or death. Seeing his friend dying, stranded out by themselves, but knowing if he went he could also die must have been heart wrenching. I’m 99% sure if I was in that situation, I would do what Banda did; help others. However, I’ve never been in that situation (and hopefully never will) where I can feel myself bleeding out, and if I ever was I hope I could find the strength to help my friend. Then to have Ed still pass away, must have been awful for him. To work so hard for something, yet it wasn’t enough, honestly I would have been mad and even felt a little betrayed. Banda’s story seems like fiction, an upsetting story from an author. But, knowing it’s all real is crazy and makes me feel grateful I don’t have to deal with such situations. His story is not a happy one, but a raw one from the realities of war. While it’s pretty depressing, it is nice to know that Banda still visits Ed at the cemetery from time to time.

His story: http://www.historynet.com/my-war-army-medic-george-banda.htm

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3 thoughts on “Realities of War

  1. Reading the story of Banda trying to save Ed makes me sick. It makes everything seem so hopeless in war. Even though Banda tried his hardest, and when you hear his story you think oh how wonderful, Ed is going to get saved because of his best friends courage and love. But no. No matter how much Banda wanted to save Ed, he just could not do it because he cannot control the outcome of war. It makes me feel so empty inside, knowing the effort put forth and the meaning behind it; yet the outcome was still the same if the effort had not been put forth.

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    • I know, this story is not a fun one (but then again, what war story is?). It definitely highlights how unfair war is, especially for the soldiers actually fighting the war. His story seems like a tragedy right out of a story, but it being real just makes it so much harder to accept.

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