"The Things They Carried," document supports the textbook's view of both the war's effects on American soldiers as well as how and why they fought the war.
Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, one of the soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War, was forced to undergo a transformation in order better cope with the struggles and events he incurred during the war. The soldiers of the Vietnam War carried both physical and emotional baggage which affected the way they fought in the war. Lieutenant Cross carried many objects with him during the war. The most important of these objects were letters from a girl back home named Martha "he was just a kid at war, in love."He used these letters to daydream and to escape the realities of war and the horrible situation he was in. Cross loved her more than he loved the lives of his men even though he knew that Martha didn't love him. He loved her so much, that he would find himself daydreaming at crucial times during the war when his men needed his guidance the most.Because of his love for Martha, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross abandoned the needs of his men and put them in danger.
The death of one of Crosse's men Ted Lavender put a deep sense of guilt on Cross who was daydreaming when Lavender died he felt shame and a hatred for him-self.The other men were so desensitized by the war that they hid their true feelings by making jokes and retelling how they saw him die, a Christian of all people said "the poor bastard just flat-fuck fell" reemphasizing the demoralizing effects on the soldiers during the war.Cross not only blamed him-self, but also Martha.The death of Lavender left him with a love-hate feeling for Martha.
She was in another world that was not quite real to him and completely uninvolved with his world and he realized that she did not love him and never would. The death of Lavender forced Cross to face reality and become a responsible uncaring..