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Hellman, John. American Myth and the Legacy of Vietnam. New York: Columbia University Press, 1986.
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The secret O'Brien claimed to have kept may also have been depicted in that reoccurring emotional/fictional truth that we know oh so well from this story. Perhaps he even showed it in the first chapter, rather than telling it.
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What literary period was the things they carried written in?
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Azar kicked O'Brein in the head not Jorgensen.
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