this is chapter 2 of fallen angels
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Perry joined the army because he wanted to earn money to help provide for his younger brother's education. Additionally, Perry saw enlisting as a way to avoid figuring out his next steps after realizing he lacked the financial resources to enroll in college. Perry has had to let go of his dream of "[going] to college and [writing] like James Baldwin" (15). He compares the war to a basketball game. A whole team shares in a win or a loss, which means that Perry always feels bad about a loss, even if he, a star player, has performed well. To him, entering the army already feels like "a kind of defeat" (14), so he feels relatively unemotional about the United States's rumored victory.