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Closure at the Wall In the novel In Country Bobbie Ann Mason writes about a young woman and her uncle searching to heal their scars caused by the Vietnam War Sam Hughes the young woman and Emmett Smith her uncle travel to Washington DC in the summer of 1984 Their destination is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial or the Wall possibly one of the nations most dramatic monuments Some come to the Wall in dedication while others need to find answers or lay something to rest Sam and Emmett venture there for the latter Emmett Smith returned from the war but it never really ended for him He didnt come home with gun shot wounds or list limbs but according to Sam he shows the effects of Agent Orange The chemical Agent Orange was sprayed on the dense jungles in Vietnam to make the leaves fall off of the trees American troops often got sprayed and later suffered from various conditions such as skin rashes painful headaches breathing problems and even cancer Sam is very concerned with Emmetts symptoms She constantly asks him to go to a doctor and she even tells him to write into the newspaper medical columnist Dr Dobbs Why dont you write and ask him about those firecrackers in your head And ask him why that pimple on your nose hasnt healed in two months And why youve got pimples creeping down the back of your neck Hell say its Agent Orange I bet you money 53-54 The war mentally upsets Emmett as well Most veterans returned from the war and readjusted well but this is not the case with Emmett After his dischargeEmmett could not adjust 23 At first he lived with his niece Sam and his sister Irene who babied him He attempted to go to college and worked odd jobs but neither lasted He is left unemployed despite the fact that he owes the VA over five hundred
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