In the final chapter of Recon Scout, Fred Salter begins to realize the lasting mental effects that the war has had on him. Fred receives about a 20-day furlough or break when he returns to the United States. There are tons of people there to greet the boat as it arrived, but no one that Fred knew. Fred finally called his mother for the first time since he had gone to war and let her knew that he would be home in a matter of minutes. Fred and his family were reunited for the first time in 5 years, which led to intense emotions mixed with tears. Fred then had to take the task of telling Paul's parents that he had been with Paul when he died. Fred said that this was one of the hardest things he has ever had to do and never wants to do it again. .
After this, Fred was called to a prison camp where his job was to guard German POW's. It wasn't the most desirable job, but he was able to handle it until he was given the task of working the guard tower on the 4th of July. The German prisoners tested his patience and heckled him; especially one German whom Fred was almost positive had killed one of his buddies. Fred finally snapped and tried to kill them with the machine gun, but was stopped by the other guards just as he was squeezing the trigger. He went to a court-martial preliminary hearing for his actions, but instead he received an honorable discharge from the commander because the commander realized what he had gone through. The blame for Fred's actions was placed on all of the other high-ranking officials for not reading what Fred had gone through. .
"The pain might be over for the young men who made the supreme sacrifice for their country, but the loved ones left behind continued to suffer the rest of their lives"(p.268). I selected this quote because it shows the vast number of people that WWII has effected. Fred said that trying to console Paul's mother about his death was one of the hardest things he has ever had to do.