This chapter made me feel bad for what became of Rat Kiley. He always seemed like such a good guy, so reliable, brave, and a great friend on top of it all. What I remembered most about him was how levelheaded he had stayed after Tim got shot. He kept risking his own life to check on him and to make sure that he was okay. Nice qualities, right? It was for those reasons that made me sad to see he slightly lost his mind. By what he described to his men, it sounded like he was turning towards insanity. He had this obsession with bugs and kept describing how he could see the other soldiers' body parts. He could even imagine his own insides. With disconcerting visions like that, I can completely understand his motivation to injure himself so that he could escape for a little while. What he needed was medical attention, and I feel like he would not have gotten better if he hadn't inflicted that wound upon himself. I was happy that Lieutenant Cross was understanding and said that he would vouch for him that it had been an accident. I hope that in the end Riley was brought back to normal. It would be a shame to lose a good man like him.
"Anyway," Rat said, "the days aren't so bad, but at night the pictures get to be a bitch. I start seeing my own body. Chunks of myself. My own heart, my own kidneys. It's like - I don't know - it's like staring into this huge black crystal ball. One of these nights I'll be lying dead out there in the dark and nobody'll find me except the bugs - I can see it - I can see the goddamn bugs chewing tunnels through me - I can see mongooses munching on my bones. I swear, it's too much. I can't keep seeing myself dead." (page 212)
Gotta hand it to the guy, that sounds pretty nuts. I would have shot myself in the foot too.