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Tim OBriens short story The Things They Carried informs us about the items that were carried by the soldiers of the Vietnam War Not all of the items were physical some were emotional They carried the emotional baggage of men who might die They carried shameful memories They carried the common secret They carried their reputations 74 The emotional baggage often helped the soldiers get through each day and take their minds off the circumstances of the war However First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross love for Martha often occupied his thoughts and this eventually results in Jimmy changing the way he leads the soldiers under his command in war First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross is probably the type of lieutenant that every soldier would like to have He allows the men to joke around and is generally a nice laid back guy He even let the soldiers discard some of the things they carried They would often discard things along the route of march 71 Although Cross knew that they might need some of the discarded items he also knew that the amount of things the soldiers carried could add up to a lot of weight Mitchell Sanders carriedtwenty-six pounds Rat Kiley carriednearly twenty pounds Henry Dobbins carriedtwenty-three pounds In addition Dobbins carried between ten and fifteen pounds 67 The important details were not what items they carried but how many pounds of stuff the men were carrying Jimmy Cross understood how much weight the items could add up to so he let the men get rid of the things that he knew they would be resupplied with that night or the next day Purely for comfort they would throw away rations blow their Claymores and grenades no matter because by nightfall the resupply choppers would arrive with more of the same then a day or two later still more71 Another person Lieutenant Cross cared about was not a soldier Martha was constantly on Jimmys
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