They carried Sterno,safety pins, trip flares, signal flares, spools of wire, razor blades, chewing tobacco, liberated joss sticksand statuettes of the sniffing Buddha, candles, grease pencils, The Starsand Stripes, fingernail clippers, Psy Ops leaflets, bush hats, bolos, andmuch more. Sanders and the other men still like him, but he's now an outsider, and Jorgenson (who's been by their side) is with them now. One thing I hate, it's a silent Indian. role of a medic/nurse. Afterward, when the firing ended, theywould blink and peek up. Lieutenant Cross nodded and closed his eyeswhile the others clapped Strunk on the back and made jokes about risingfrom the dead. Theycarried lice and ringworm and leeches andpaddy algae and various rots and molds. Why that grayness in her eyes? She received the kiss without returning it, her eyes wide open, notafraid, not a virgin's eyes, just flat and uninvolved. He wished he could find some great sadness, or even anger, but the emotionwasn't there and he couldn't make it happen. There was a steady rainfalling, which made it difficult, but he used heat tabs and Sterno to builda small fire, screening it with his body, holding the photographs over the tight blue flame with the tips of hisfingers. The next day, Sanders comes up to O'Brien and says that he has to confess that he embellished the story a little. 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He liked hearing the sounds of night. In addition to the three standard weapons–the M-60, M-16, andM-79–they carried whatever presented itself, or whatever seemedappropriate as a means of killing or staying alive. O'Brien persists with his revenge plan and tries to recruit Sanders, who flatly refuses. Visit the The Things They Carried Study Guide page to learn more. After a moment Norman Bowker sat up in the dark. In the chapter 'How to Tell a True War Story,' Sanders tells a story that seems so fantastic and spooky that it's hard to believe. As PFCs or Spec 4s, most of them were common grunts and carried thestandard M-16 gas-operated assault rifle. They were afraid of dying but they were even moreafraid to show it. Sun and waves and gentle winds, all love andlightness. Therewas no twitching or flopping. They imagined the quick, sweetpain, then the evacuation to Japan, then a hospital with warm beds and cutegeisha nurses. Later in the day, perhaps, he would call the men together and speak to them plainly. and find homework help for other The Things They Carried questions at eNotes What does Sanders say about the thumb in The Things They Carried? condoms, radio. Ted Lavender ("who was scared") carries tranquilizers. He might give acurt little nod. They carried him out to a dry paddy, established security, andsat smoking the dead man's dope until the chopper came. With his entrenching tool, which weighed five pounds,he began digging a hole in the earth. Oh shit, Rat Kiley said, the guy's dead. What Sanders helps O'Brien realize and reflect on is that in a true war story, there isn't always a moral, and if there is, it's woven deep within the story so that it's hard to pin down. They carried diseases, among them malaria and dysentery. Lee Strunk made a funny ghost sound, a kind of moaning, yet very happy, andlight then, when Strunk made that high happy moaning sound, when he wentAhhooooo, right then Ted Lavender was shot in the head on his way back frompeeing. Mind-blower, get it? She was anEnglish major at Mount Sebastian, and she wrote beautifully about herprofessors and roommates and midterm exams, about her respect for Chaucerand her great affection for Virginia Woolf. Boom.Down. Not sure what college you want to attend yet? He looks at O'Brien scornfully and says, 'You're sick, man.' There's a moral here, said Mitchell Sanders. At various times, in various situations, they carried M-14's andCAR-15's and Swedish K's and grease guns and captured AK-47s and ChiCom'sand RPG's and Simonov carbines and black-market Uzi's and .38-caliber Smith& Wesson handguns and 66 mm LAW's and shotguns and silencers and blackjacks and bayonets and C-4 plasticexplosives. And even now, without photographs,Lieutenant Cross could see Martha playing volleyball in her white gymshorts and yellow T-shirt. It was flight, a kind of fleeing,a kind of falling, falling higher and higher, spinning off the edge of theearth and beyond the sun and through the vast, silent vacuum where therewere no burdens and where everything weighed exactly nothing. He could see her moving in the rain. He would look them in the eyes, keeping his chin level, andhe would issue the new SOPs in a calm, impersonal tone of voice, an officer's voice, leaving no room forargument or discussion. His mind wandered. Log in here for access. It was what had broughtthem to the war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory orhonor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor. They marched until dusk, then dug their holes, and thatnight Kiowa kept explaining how you had to be them how fast it was, how thepoor guy just dropped like so much concrete, Boom-down, he said. In certain heavilymined AO's, where the land was dense with Toe Poppers and Bouncing Betties,they took turns humping a twenty-eight-pound mine detector. At night, on guard, staring into the dark, they were carried away by jumbojets. Yeah, well, he finally said. He wanted her to be a virgin and not a virgin,all at once. Each morning, despite theunknowns, they made their legs move. As a writer, O'Brien has been greatly influenced by this idea, and Sanders's storytelling makes a strong impression of O'Brien's character in the book. It wouldn't help Lavender, he knew that, but from this point on he would comport himself as a soldier.He would dispose of his good-luck pebble. {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons He realized it was only a gesture. He carried a strobe light and the responsibility forthe lives of his men. They would squint intothe dense, oppressive sunlight. He has a sense of irony, picking lice off his body and sending them back to his draft board in Ohio, and a sense of loyalty, refusing to help O’Brien inflict revenge on the medic Bobby Jorgenson and standing by Rat Kiley in his decision to escape Vietnam by shooting himself in the toe. Kiowa wasright. Kiowa shook his head sadly and glanced over at the hole where LieutenantJimmy Cross sat watching the night. Lying there, Kiowaadmired Lieutenant Jimmy Cross's capacity for grief. He carries the 26-lb. Henry Dobbins, who was a big man, carried extrarations; he was especially fond of canned peaches in heavy syrup over poundcake. He wanted to know her. In itsintransitive form, "to hump," meant "to walk," or "to march," but itimplied burdens far beyond the intransitive. The items include packs of condoms … He wanted to share the man's pain, he wanted to care asJimmy Cross cared. Gone! Not a word. ... 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