A Rumor of War

A Rumor of War

by

Philip Caputo

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A marine in the 2nd Battalion who survived “half a dozen operations and a number of combat patrols.” Caputo believes that Olson and his fellow marine, Harris, suffered from “combat madness”—a sense of war weariness in which one can only look forward to killing and seeing others killed. Olson and Harris spend four months in the jungle with no relief and no more than three or four hours of sleep per night. One night, he tells Harris that he will not go out on watch, though it is his turn. Harris, in furious revenge, pumps five or six bullets from his automatic rifle into Olson’s skull at point-blank range. Other marines stand by and witness the event.
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