"Dear Mom: A Snipers Vietnam" by By Joseph T. Ward.

Essay by davelane22High School, 12th gradeA+, October 2003

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The title of my book is Dear Mom: A Sniper's Vietnam. The author's name is Joseph T. Ward. Ward grew up in a town very much like Monroeville. He and his friends didn't know what they were going to do after high school so they joined the marines.

The biography is written about Joseph T. Ward. He was hard working and intelligent person. He was presented in the book as a person who liked to party and a great marine. Joseph had the characteristics of a natural born leader.

The only other truly major character in the book was Sergeant Graves. Although Graves did make excellent soldiers out of his men, he put Joseph Ward and his fellow troops through what I think is torture. He was an alcoholic that seemed to actually like Ward despite his aggressive disposition. He and Ward eventually see each other again during the war.

The book starts with Joseph and his friends in his hometown partying and wondering what they are going to do. They decide on joining the marines. After they join they are split up into different sections. Joseph trains under Drill Sergeant Graves. Joseph graduates from the marines with honors and has his choice of selecting in which section he will specialize. He decides to enter sniper school. After receiving high marks in sniper school, Joseph is called into service in Vietnam. Joseph spends a great deal of time in the jungle of Vietnam, which he calls "the bush." He quickly rises through the ranks and eventually become a Lance Corporal. He is wounded by a piece of shrapnel in his leg and receives a Purple Heart. He is then made the leader of a large group of soldiers. After spend time as a leader he is sent home.

My favorite occurrence in the novel was when a fellow soldier committed suicide on the firing range near Joseph Ward. The soldier had put the muzzle of an M-16 to his chest and shot himself. I like this not because of what the man did but because it should how harsh the marines is and how harsh Sergeant Graves was. Sergeant grave went into a speech about how worthless they were and if they were going to kill themselves then to do it with a razor and not waste a marine bullet.

I believe Joseph Ward was a great soldier, and I admire him very much. I think he was significant in comparison to other people because of all the lives he saved and how compassionate he was to the people of Vietnam. I've learned that you can still be a good person even in the midst of great hardship.