Behm didn't want to join the war, but he allowed himself to be persuaded by authority figures (teachers and parents) to enlist. His inability to say "no" costs him his life early in the novel. He dies a painful, hideous death: he's hit in the eye and left for dead. But he isn't dead. He calls out for help for a long time, wracked by pain, only to be finally and fatally shot again by enemy fire.