A Rumor of War

A Rumor of War

by

Philip Caputo

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KIA Term Analysis

Killed in action.

KIA Quotes in A Rumor of War

The A Rumor of War quotes below are all either spoken by KIA or refer to KIA. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Owl Books edition of A Rumor of War published in 1977.
Chapter Seven Quotes

Before the fire-fight, those marines fit both definition of the word infantry, which means either a “body of soldiers equipped for service on foot” or “infants, boys, youths collectively.” The difference was that the second definition could no longer be applied to them. Having received that primary sacrament of war, baptism of fire, their boyhoods were behind them […] We’ve been under fire, we’ve shed blood, now we’re men […] some were trying to master their emotions by talking them out; others masked their feelings under a surface toughness.

Related Characters: Philip Caputo (speaker), Peterson , PFC Marsden
Page Number: 127
Explanation and Analysis:

The horror lay in the recognition that the body, which is supposed to be the earthly home of an immortal soul, which people spend so much time feeding, conditioning, and beautifying, is in fact only a fragile case stuffed full of disgusting matter […] The sight of mutilation did more than cause me physical revulsion; it burst the religious myths of my Catholic childhood.

Related Characters: Philip Caputo (speaker)
Page Number: 128
Explanation and Analysis:
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KIA Term Timeline in A Rumor of War

The timeline below shows where the term KIA appears in A Rumor of War. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Ten
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
Danger and Uncertainty Theme Icon
War and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...marines. It is a complicated task due to the military’s elaborate procedures for everything. The KIA reports are particularly long and complicated, as these forms require additional information pertaining to burial... (full context)
The Morality of War Theme Icon
Danger and Uncertainty Theme Icon
...out how many enemy casualties there are. Webb Harrison tells him there are four, all KIA. Caputo walks into the colonel’s tent and makes the appropriate changes on the scoreboard where... (full context)
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
The Morality of War Theme Icon
Danger and Uncertainty Theme Icon
War and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...and the doctor think in terms of human suffering, not statistics. He mentions the twelve KIA from April in the context of “twelve wrecked homes.” Caputo loses his temper but apologizes... (full context)
Chapter Eleven
The Morality of War Theme Icon
Danger and Uncertainty Theme Icon
...tied to bamboo poles “like bagged game.” Caputo adds two to the number in the VC-KIA column on the scoreboard. The next week is the same, with additional probes of the... (full context)
Chapter Thirteen
Heroism and Identity Theme Icon
Loyalty and Camaraderie Theme Icon
Danger and Uncertainty Theme Icon
War and Disillusionment Theme Icon
...when the 2nd platoon in C Company suffers two killed and three wounded. The first KIA is a corpsman who suffered a GSW through the head. The second is First Lieutenant... (full context)