Being human we have different ways of coping in adverse situations. Humans in a foreign land, fighting a war that is not there own. For thousands of years humans have been sent off to war. The physical, psychological and emotional weight carried by solders is great. From the eyes of a “grunt” (foot solder) in a modern war, Tim O’Brien tells of the many forms that weight can come in. In his short story “The Things They Carried” Tim O’Brien describes of life, in the Vietnam War. In nineteen sixty seven he was drafted as a infantryman; and uses that point of view to tell how everyday people would find ways to cope with life in a modern war zone. Tim O’Brien shows how the grunt humps (to carry) the load that war dishes out.
“What they carried was partly a function of rank, partly of field specialty” (597) as said from the narrative point of view in Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”. The physical weight of the various jobs included radio and telephone operators carried a PRC-25 radio that weighed twenty six pounds with a battery. A machine gunner carried M-60’s that weighed twenty three pounds unloaded. Ammunition could range from ten to fifteen pounds. Tim O’Brien describes most every thing down to pounds and ounces. This symbolizes the physical restraints’ put on men of war. Tim O’Brien even put weight in to describing letters and photos that Lieutenant Jimmy Cross had that equaled 10 ounces. According to www.army.gov the Vietnam Soldier carried any where from eighty to a hundred and twenty three pounds of gear. In the jungles of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, this alone would push the physical limits of human beings.
The psychological weight the solder carried on a daily basis triumphed over the physical weight of a rucksack.
They carried shameful memories. They carried the common secret of cowardice barely restrained, the instinct to run or freeze or hid, and in many respects this was the heaviest burden of all, for it...