Marisa Saravisky
Dr. J. Mahabir
English 212
T/TH 9:30-10:45
Paper #2

In many of the texts a central concept that emerges is war. This can be seen in Sergeant
Michael, An Iraqi Boy , Michael Bautista, A Night in Iraq , Heather McCrae, A Toast to Life , Cory
Buzzel , From First Class to Coach and Trueman Muhrer-Irwin, Robert Wise .
In Sergeant Michael's, An Iraqi Boy , Michael and Thomas were both on guard at the
entrance of their FOB. There they stood complaining about how bored and tired they were. They
had both ran out of things to talk while simultaneously wishing they would be given a reason to
use their guns. While they were at a standstill, they always found themselves bored but safe. At
the time, Michael and Thomas were not realizing how ungrateful they were being for
complaining. For others in the area, they were living in the middle of a warzone, prone to an
attack at any time with no means of protection. When two young boys appeared at their entrance,
they gave Thomas a letter. The letter is from another FOB telling them that Ahmed, one of the
boys, needs medical care. Ahmed is clearly in pain but oblivious to his condition. In this
moment, Michael realizes how ungrateful he has been lately. Ahmed reminds him how lucky he
has it and that he should be grateful.
In An Iraqi Boy , we see the effects of war on children. Ahmed and Mohammed are two
young boys who live in a war zone. They speak Arabic and communicate with very few words,
hand ge stures, and facial expressions with Thomas and Michael. We assume since these boys are
on their own wandering through a warzone that their parents are nonexistent. Either they were
killed or somehow separated from their families. The boys still had their playful innocence about
them. Iraqi children see American soldiers as exciting. Michael and Thomas are sympathetic to
the mores and more so after they learn of Ahmed's medical condition. Michael and Thomas
wanted the boys to forget about their harsh reality so they gave them candy and soda. Candy and
soda were luxuries to children in these war zo ne areas. Children are unaware of the full dangers
that come with living in a war zone but are also very accepting to the constant danger because
they are full of innocence.
Corporal Michael Bautista was on an escort mission in Iraq when he found himself
regarded by on e Iraqi family as a neighbor instead of a solider. In his account, At Night in Iraq ,
we see what peacetime is like in a warzone. In Iraq, many families spend their nights outside in

the yard or the street. They interact and enjoy each other's company. It is very different from
families in the United States, who very rarely get to enjoy a meal at dinner together. The
patriarch from the home stood and made a stirring motion offering Michael tea. Michael said that
he would never forget the 10 minutes he spent with that family. For a while, there was no
fighting, no explosions, no terrorists. Although he was dressed head to toe in his combat gear, he
was just a guy enjoying some tea and candy with his neighbors.
American Soldiers are idolized and respected in warzones. During war, outsiders are
considered enemies and many of those who in a country where war is happening encounter many
outsiders. This is also seen in an Iraqi Boy , where the two young boys were intrigued with
Michael and Thomas. In At Night in Iraq , Corporal Michael Bautista is also respected by the
families who inhibit the war zone he is serving and protecting. When he is greeted by the
patriarch of the home he was offered a cup of tea. Although he cannot communicate with the
family, he is able to use facial expressions and hand signals to communicate with them. When it
was time to leave, Michael shakes the hand of the patriarch and then puts his hand over his chest.
This gesture is a sign of gratitude. Instantaneously after, everyone wanted to shake Michael's