The story that has meant the most to me so far is "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong". The reason this story has meant the most to me is because you can see how much a person can change in such a short amount of time. The person that changed was Mary Anne Bell. Mary Anna was Mark Fossie's girlfriend. He paid to bring her to Vietnam. When she first arrived there, her relationship with Mark was the same as it was when they were back home. They would hang out, she would be all lovey dovey. She became curious about multiple things while she was there. After a couple weeks, she fell into the habits of the men. She dressed different and didn't care what she looked like. On page 94 Tim O'Brien explains a little bit of how she changed. He says, "She stopped wearing jewelry, cut her hair short and wrapped it in a dark green bandanna". She started to become one of the guys. Some nights she would come in late and eventually she wouldn't come back at all. Her and Mark's relationship began to fall apart. Eventually she disappeared and Mark never saw her again. She was not the same person that Mark fell in love with. The war changed her.
I think I connect with Tim O'Brien. At the beginning when he tried to run away from something hard, he eventually felt that he needed to step up and do it. I used to try to run from hard things because I didn't know what was going to happen but I eventually learned that I have to take that step and just do it. I can't learn if I don't put myself out there. He also cares a lot about his platoon. He has a big heart for his family and the men. When I care about someone, I really care. I love people no matter how they treat me sometimes. I would never give up the relationships I have with my family and friends.
Tim O'Brien does a great job at creating scenes. He's very detailed, down to what the person was wearing, what the place smelled like, what it looked like. When he explained the scene where Kiowa died. I felt like I could've actually been there. When he was writing about Bowker riding around in his truck for hours, I felt like I could be sitting in the passenger seat.
One passage that really stuck out to me was when Tim O'Brien is on the field trip to Vietnam with his daughter and he goes back into the crap field where Kiowa had died. "I eased myself down, squatting at first, then sitting. There was again that sense of recognition. The water rose to mid-chest, a deep greenish brown, almost hot. Small water bugs skipped the surface. Right here, I thought. Leaning forward, I reached in with the moccasins and wedged them into the soft bottom, letting them slide away." (pg 178). That passage really meant something to me because it shows that after all that time, Tim O'Brien didn't forget about what happened to Kiowa. I didn't expect him to, I just thought it was neat how he left that marking for Kiowa. He took the time to go back into the crap field to place the moccasins in. He took time to visit that place on his field trip.