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Caputo major arguments reflect un-warranted loss of innocent lives of civilians and the soldiers in the Vietnam War.  He recounts step by step the atrocities and abuse of human rights that was happening as the Vietnam War unfolded and the massive loss of lives that resulted from the war.  Caputo highlights the kind of enthusiasm that they approached the Vietnam War with and then disillusionment, desperation, and trauma that results from the massive loss of lives and torture.  Contrary to the soldier’s perceptions of the Vietnam War being as simple and small it turned out to be horrible and traumatic to Caputo and his soldiers. Its impacts being felt far and longer after the gunshots were silenced.

 The Caputo’s experiences in the war were not common to the soldiers. He recounts that he was assigned the duty of the officer in charge of the death. He witnessed several deaths.   From his position, Caputo narrates how he could see soldiers and civilians perish from both divided sides of the war. It is a horrible experience for him as he assumes the duty of reporting recording the casualties in the war.  In his duties, he comes to terms with the magnitude of impacts of the war, and this marks the turning point of his attitudes in the war. He starts to question why would America engage in such war.

 Slowly the kind of enthusiasm they started with in the war fades out as the soldiers start developing the post traumatic symptoms.  Caputo is a true representation of the many soldiers that participated in the Vietnam War.  After the war, many of the soldiers are abandoned, and most of them suffered from post-traumatic stress. Most of them started developing mental disorders just like what Caputo is going through in in his story.


Caputo, P. (2014). A rumor of war. Random House.

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