As a result of the trauma of fighting in World War II, Tayo's dreams are haunted, and he is troubled by an inability to separate memories from dreams from reality. He is caught in a past moment that keeps on taking over both his sleep and his waking hours. Much of Tayo's distress comes from his confusion of his uncle Josiah with the Japanese soldiers he was killing. This confusion results in part from the similar physical characteristics of Native Americans and Japanese. The physical similarity is most likely due to a common ancestry. Tayo's recognition of this similarity demonstrates not a realization of ancient migratory patterns, but of the interconnectedness of all people. However, he cannot identify it as such. Tayo only feels that he is terribly confused, and must be partially crazy. This feeling has been reinforced by his time spent at a Veteran's Hospital. Although he left the hospital with a stronger awareness of himself and a greater desire to live than he had at the very ending of the war, Tayo's encounter with Harley shows that all of the native Americans who fought in World War II were traumatized in a way that has not been addressed. The men self-medicate with alcohol, which dulls their senses, but also unleashes the sadness, fear, and anger which they still carry.