Dan Baum: The Casualty

Dan Baum's essay Casualty actually has presented a lot of evidence on the effects of the Iraqi war on both the families involved and the soldiers. He starts on the motivation for people joining the army as Michael does due to boredom of routine jobs and the need for larger spaces. He then goes on to give a description of the war effort and the injury to Michael Cain. The author argues that the army offers quite adequate safeguards for emergency measures by offering soldiers basic first aid kits. He however does not seem to consider what is done as sufficient as he says that the fighting vehicles could very easily move beyond the reach of aid stations and hence more need to be done.

He argues that sufficient physical care is provided to the wounded by giving detailed descriptions of medication. He however argues that sufficient moral support can never be offered to injured people as Michael Cain is still hurting from his psychological wounds. This can be seen by his telling of his lecture audience that he is going to receive a lot of money though he is not sure of that. The wounded soldiers are outwardly cheerful though they live under the fear of the medical board's ruling on their case. In the end the author argues that soldiers are never really healed just by healing their physical wounds as illustrated by Michael who becomes disillusioned as his mental and physical wounds degenerate instead of improving after his treatment.




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