E405- 1st Hour
Ghosts of War by Ryan Smithson
Essay Question #7
On the morning of September 11th, 2001, a young normal teenager, Ryan Smithson, was sitting in American History class. As his teacher went explaining about the tragedy that had occurred in New York City, Ryan knew this was his call that he was to join the Army one way or another. He thought, “If I don’t do something, who will?” He felt an anger that in turn was his calling to duty. Throughout this novel written by Ryan himself, he has day to day interactions with the underprivileged and abused of Iraq’s countryside. Every action in his story he has to tell has molded him and his feelings toward America’s war on terror.
This novel portrays the ...view middle of the document...
He knew this was the right thing to do because his patriotism was based on his mindset and how he portrayed his country through positive thoughts and heroic deeds throughout his time in Iraq.
War has a long lasting effect on every solider. This is very important and resembles the theme of this novel, which in turn is simply to have the courage to step up to the plate when you are called or most needed. In Ryan’s case, he stated that even after leaving the war zone, he is still haunted by the ‘ghosts of war’. He told us, “I’m grateful for the worst in humanity, because it’s the closest I’ll ever get to understanding the best in humanity. I’m grateful for my moments of insanity, because it’s the closest I’ll ever get to becoming sane.” This truly shows the lasting effects of the war on any soldier. This was his time to step up to the plate, hit that walk-off homerun, and use that as a fuel of accomplishment to get him through the ups and downs life still has in store for him.
When Ryan asked who will do something if he doesn’t, the simple answer to that is no one. The courage he showed not only in Iraq, but at home deciding what was the best decision for him was amazing. His interactions with others made him into the brave hero he is today. He once stated, “I know I can’t come back. So I hold on to it. We call this faith. And without faith we are nothing.” This remarkable story has touched me along with so many lives. Ryan demonstrated remarkable ability in service and also his writing. This will make you see freedom, military service, and country in a whole new way which will give you a much great appreciation for our men and women in uniform.