The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien Essay

1570 Words May 27th, 2016 7 Pages
War has plagued humankind for as long as history cares to ever recount. With war, has always come burdens, which lay upon the shoulders and hearts of those cast into its maw. In Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”, the men of Alpha Company yield prime examples of the withering effects of the Vietnam War on the soul, body, and mind. Among the many hefty burdens borne by the various men of Alpha Company, the death of a friend or comrade is perhaps the heaviest; overwhelming those who are unable to cope with afflictions like survivor’s guilt, sociopathy, and rage.

The list of damages from the Vietnam War is seemingly endless in length; with many of these relentless affectations falling under the ominous label of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. From a statistical standpoint, “About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people will have PTSD at some point in their lives” (ptsd.va.gov). Considering the nearly 3 million American soldiers that served in Vietnam, that places approximately 240,000 men at risk of having one of the assorted and vicious disorders. Along with the already crippling effects of PTSD, suicide and thoughts thereof run rampant through veterans of the Vietnam War, and “suicide rates among Vietnam veterans are the highest of any particular group” (abcnews.go.com). Between the two, the number of remaining living Vietnam veterans is steadily declining.

One crushing branch of PTSD is survivor’s guilt. This all-consuming syndrome eats away at…

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