-Veterans Are Fugitives from Hell

Veterans are fugitives from hell,
Escapees from death pursued by pain.
The truth they left behind makes truth insane;
Each nightmare is a truth they know too well.
Reason is unreasonable when words
Are whips that drive believers to the kill,
Necessary to sustain a will
Stirred by the sweet morning songs of birds.
Decencies are frills to put aside
As hearts are hardened for the jolting ride,
Yet on return clamp and harden still.
Nicholas Gordon

The Things They Carried
Tim O'Brien

This book portrays the sheer Horror of war. Tim, a young man tells us not only of his experiences in the Vietnam War but also of the life of the people in the Vietnam War. What is truth? What is real? To read this book is to question the events of war. Not the fact that they happened but how they happened. " I want you to feel what I felt. I want you to know why story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth" ( O'Brien 179, Good Form). The happening-truth is that Tim was a young man in war. He was with a group of men, the names don't matter because the people were real yet false. The men experienced real things that where false and the men had real feelings that where false. Mr. O'Brien shares with us the feelings of going on an ambush and being on patrol in the dence confusion that is Vietnam. His experiences where real yet they may not have happened the exact way with the exact same names and times like he told them. Anyboby who was in Vietnam can relate to everything in this book. Evrybody in Veitnam experienced the things that Tim did. They carried everything, let it be emotional hard ships, pictures of girlfriends and bodies blown to nothing but half a head and a finger etched into their brains forever, or the physical weight of their weapons their packs or mabye their friend.

That may be alittle confusing but it is really hard to get the point across on a web page. This is one of those things that you sort of have to read to understand. Tim tells stories of him and his platoon in Vietnam and he may exagerate the experiences he had so that they are still true because he witnessed people do them but he may not have done them himself.

" Here is the happening-truth. I was once a soldier. There were many bodies, real bodies with real faces, but i was young then and i was afraid to look. And now, twenty years later, I'm left with faceless responsibility and faceless grief.
Here is the story-truth. He was a slim, dead, almost dainty young man of about twenty. He lay in the center of a red clay trail near the village of My Khe. His jaw was in his throat. His one eye was shut, the other eye was a starshaped hole. I killed him" ( O'Brien 180, Good Form).

"What stories can do, I guess, is make things present" (O'Brien 180, Good Form).

By telling us what they carried, C-ratoins, good luck charms, ruck sacks, claymores, ammunition, and the hope to go home on a Freedom Bird to a loving family, he lets us think deeper into the war that was Vietnam. Alpha company, his company is a symbol of every company in Vietnam.

these videos i found on youtude may help to show you some of the horrors of Vietam but nothing compars to being their.

Excuse the Language


I recomend this book because it is one of the very few books that i have read that actually tells the truth about war. This book makes you think and I believe everyone should read this book. It is outstanding.

" How do you generalize?
War is hell, but that's not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead" (O'Brien 80, How to Tell a True War Story).

Work Cited

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. qtd. in "The Things They Carried." 1990.

"Vietnam Stolen Honor Hi Quality Version". www.youtube.com

"Vietnam War Through The Things They Carried". www.youtube.com

"Veterans Are Fugitives From Hell".

army photo