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The war was a hellish experience that turned a boy into a man of reason and even wisdom. I think Henry realized that there were really no heroes in war, just men who survived and lived to tell about it. Heroes or cowards are how people see others. The war made Henry realize that how he sees himself is all that is important. I don't even think Henry sees winners and losers in this war in the same context as he did as a boy. He sees shades of grey and blue whirling past him and the crimson badge of honour dripping from all who muster the courage to fight.