Why can’t Krebs pray with his mother?
Krebs' experiences overseas have hardened him in such a way that the simple things of his old life--such as prayer, ball games and dating--are now unacceptable acts to him. The bloody battles in which he participated at Belleau Wood and in the Argonnes have changed his way of looking at the world, and he finds it impossible to adjust to post-war life when he returns to his hometown in Oklahoma. The terrible horrors of war have made Krebs believe that he is no longer part of God's Kingdom, if there really is a God, and he cannot bring himself to tell his mother that he loves her. He cannot kneel and pray with her because he no longer believes in God, and he knows that his new life cannot resume again in the home of his youth. Life here is now a lie. He decides that he must move elsewhere, away from his family and the reminders of his innocence, so that he can begin life anew.