Walter and Braiden
Two male Vietnam Veterans find themselves in a V.A Hospital. One is black and the other is white. One is a quadriplegic and the other has a disfigured face. Their names are Walter and Braiden. Walter, the white male, finds himself lying in a hospital bed next to another man. This other mans name is Braiden and has been a resident at the V.A Hospital for over 22 years. When they first meet, both men think the other is crazy, until they begin to bond. As they grow closer, Walter and Braiden begin finding other similarities between each other aside from the war. Larry Brown, author of Dirty Work, describes the similarities between two men, who in the end find that they were destined to meet and who inevitably bond together through their past, drinking beer, smoking pot, watching movies and sharing their war stories.
Both Braiden and Walter love to drink and smoke the pot that the nurse, Braiden’s sister, is constantly bringing them. Because Braiden has no arms, Walter helps him consume these items by “holding them for [him]” (121). When Braiden and Walter first meet, Walter is very tense and never talks, but when Braiden offers him a beer, Walters’s whole mood changes. As Walter looks under the white sheet he finds “four bottles of Bud” and while he admits that he feels “. . . two hundred percent better,” Braiden explains that they, “have to have something” (51). As they begin drinking their beer, both realize that it helps them let loose and talk more to each other about their lives.
As Larry Brown describes the similarities in their alcohol consumption, he also shows the reader how alike these men are by allowing the reader to become connected with their love for movies. Both Walter and Braiden use specific movies to recall the past and cherish their most important memories. For example, right before Braiden leaves for war, him and his mother watch a movie. Although he can not remember the name of the movie, Braiden goes back in time to...