The chapter that engaged me the most was The Man I Killed. I thought it was so sad, yet interesting how O'Brien describes what he thinks the man he killed might be like. O'Brien has so much guilt because he thinks that the man he killed could be a normal man just like him. He thinks he could be an innocent guy who has done nothing to deserve this. O'Brien imagines him as an intelligent college student who is interested in mathematics and is in love with a classmate, just as he is. This chapter is important because O'Brien realizes that the enemies they are fighting against could actually be men just like him. Men who are innocent and who don't even want to participate in the war. The guilt of killing the man really distresses O'Brien during this chapter.
The Things They Carried really demonstrates the impact of tragic loss throughout the book. The men deal with tragic loss on a common basis. Losing one another really impacts them because they become so close as comrades and they never know who is going to be lost next. I can't even imagine how terrifying that is. People struggle so much to get over the loss of close friends and family because well, words can't even explain the pain. I've mentioned this before, but death is so permanent and I think that is tough for all of us to face. The reality of the situation is really hard to deal with. We become so close and attached to the loved ones around us. I don't think you can really ever get over the loss of someone. I think time helps, but the pain never truly goes away. The best way to deal with a death in my opinion, is to surround yourself with other loved ones and try to focus on the good memories you had with that person.