A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

S
safety, 9, 137
Saigon, 182, 183
mama-sans from, 93
flight route to, 94
University of, 128
final collapse, 155 
Sanders, Mitchell
things he carried, 5, 14
reports Lavender's death, 6
weapons, 7
sarcasm, 11-13
moral comments, 20
picture of, 27
sends lice to his draft board, 31
says goodbye to poppa san, 33
peace story, 35
plays with the yo-yo, 70, 72, 73, 80
tells war story, 71 ­76
his moral, 77
the baby buffalo's death, 80
philosophy, 82
false war stories, 85
argues with Rat Kiley, 90, 107
what matters to him, 107
teaches Rat Kiley to tell war stories, 112
finds Kiowa, 166-167, 173
location of finding Kiowa's rucksack, 186
the power of morals, 192
on Morty Phillips' story, 196-198
spooks Bobby Jorgenson, 201
bystander in the spooking, 203
at the EM club, 206
essential facts about Rat Kiley, 219, 221-223
feeds the corpse, 227
talks to Lavender about the war, 231
cleans up enemy KIAs, 243 
Santa's elves, 229
Scrabble, 49; See games
scum, 149, 175
SEATO, 40
security, 6, 10, 12, 117
seven iron, 167; See games
sewages, 145, 156
shame, 16, 39, 52
shapes, 202, 208
shingles, 137, 146
shit field, 32, 148, 153, 159, 160, 162-78, 181-82, 184-87
shock, 190, 192, 197, 199, 201, 214
show, 95, 154
shrapnel, 148, 169,175
Shredded Wheat, 125
silence, 19, 94
silhouette, 105, 207, 208, 211
Silver Star, 140, 141, 144, 146, 150, 153, 161; See army commendations
Sioux,138
Sioux City, 139
Slater Park,140, 146
sliding
beneath the story's surface, 97
through the shadows, 116
snapshot of Lavender, 27
soldiers, images of
carried the sky 15
mules 15
popcorn 33 
Song Tra Bong
camp on, described, 91
swim in, 96
described, 142
field along, 144, 160
overflowed, 162, 168
narrator shot at, 190, 198, 213
Kiowa sinks in muck of 242 
sorrow, 85
soul, 205
South China Sea, 87, 225
Special Forces. See Green Berets
spell, 106
spelling test, 234, 235
spirits, 105, 202
splotches, 197
spooks, 205
sporting event, images of; See games
soldiering as, 37 
narrator's
hallucination as, 58
spotlights, 241
sprinkler, 146, 153
sprinkles, green and red, 227
St. George, 58
stadium, 58
Stars and Stripes, The 14
State Theater, 229, 232
statuettes of the smiling Buddha, 14 
Sterno, 23, 95
stewardess, 22
stitches, Linda's, 235, 237
stockings, as body armor,118; See Dobbins
stomach fluid, as lemonade, 133
story, stories
moral of a, 13-14, 20, 76, 77
narrator writes, 29, 131, 157-59
join past to present to future, 34-38
as confession, 39, 57
begin with facts, 53
war, how to tell a true, 67-85
Sanders', of the listening post, 71-76
that will last forever, 89 
how they work, 102, 106-07, 112-13
magic of, 106, 244
Vietnamese, 125, 130
objectifies experience, 158
fails to tell the truth, 159
make things present, 180
can save us, 225, 245
dead kept alive with, 239
arrival of, 244
strawberry ice cream, 93
strobe light, 5
structure, 160; See story
Strunk, Lee, 33
things he carried, 7, 9, 14, 25
on tunnel duty, 11-12
gets in fist fight with Jensen, 62-64
builds friendship with Jensen, 65-66
dead, 209 
suitcase, 60, 87, 90, 94
Sunset Park, 138, 140, 146, 150, 154
Summa Cum Laude, 41

 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

T
table, 27, 60, 143, 206
take-out counter, 151
talking dirty, 69
talons, 22
tans, 194
tar road, 137, 146, 154
taxes, 143
Technicolor, 148
teddy bear, 204
tennis courts, 143, 150; See games
tension, 208
Than Khe
Lavender shot at, 2, 6, 230
burned, 7
tunnel complexes, 10
village of, 11, 16
villages west of, 26 
therapy, 158
thread, 77
thumb, for luck, 13
Tim. See O' Brien
time
experience of war 140
almost dusk 150
memory of time 182 
tingle, 205
Tip Top Lodge, 47-49, 52, 54; See Berdahl, Elroy
toilet, 145, 166, 168
tone, 107; See story
toothache, as nail in jaw, 88
Tot Dong, 125
tongues, necklace of human, 110-11; See Mary Anne
towels, 175
tower, 175
town
hit by nerve gas, 143
photograph of, 143 
Tra Bong, 91, 115
tracer rounds, images of
red ribbons, 81 
cancer, 82
forest fire, 82
tragedy, 97
trail junction, site of Lemon's death, 69-70
Tran Hung Dao, 125
transportation terms
accelerator, 140
airplanes, 127
automotive parts, 155
boat, 60, 137, 138, 140 159
Buick, 233
C-130, 94
car, 29, 30, 60, 93, 120, 138, 145, 156, 158, 237
car wash, 155
Chevy, 137, 139, 143, 144, 146, 150, 152
chopper, 16, 20, 21, 33, 37, 94, 98, 112, 190, 193, 198, 222, 223, 231
engine, 22, 139, 140, 143, 147, 150
Firebird, 151
gas pedal, 139
gunship, 72, 75, 81, 135
helicopter, 91, 93, 127, 177, 190
jeep, 182,185,187, 193, 198, 200
jets, 22, 225
motorboat, 140, 147, 150, 153
pickup truck, black ,60
plane, 22
pulley system, 215
ride, 190
steering wheel, 144
tanks, Russian, 219
truck, 243
USS Maddox, 40 
Tri Binh, 189
tribe, 192
trick-or-treating, 86, 239, 240
trigger, 22
trolls, 205
true, 60, 67, 70, 74, 77, 81, 86, 90, 94, 225
truest self, 81
true war story, a
and morality, 68, 77
allegiance to obscenity and evil, 69
seeming untrue, 71
never ends, 76
avoids generalization, 78
and gut instinct, 78
tells truth, 81
has no point, 82
known by the questions asked, 83
never about war, 85
Trung Sisters, 125
trust friends, 65
truth
-goose, 35  
full, the 46
Berdahl sees narrator's, 48, 50
Canadian waters as, 55
God's, 71
feel the, 74, 78, 89
story- vs. happening-, 78, 83-85, 131, 179-180
Rat's, 89, 112-14
of the shit field, 153-154, 159-61, 171
and Lt. Cross, 176
truthfulness, epigraph
T-shirt, 23
tunnel, 11-12 15, 21, 32, 182, 223
TV, 13, 139

 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

U
uncertainty, 40; See ambiguity
understand
story telling, 76
past history, 182 
USS Maddox, 40
United States Senate, 40, 58

V
valor, 141, 146, 150, 161
valves, 148
vapors, 82
VC [Viet Cong], 13, 208
VC virus, some 195, 197 
Veenhof, Nick, 233-235, 237
Veterans of Foreign Wars, 45
viaduct, 146
Vietcong Battalion, 130
Vietnam, 89, 97, 157, 160, 210, 219
land of, 15
ambiguities of, 16
American war in, 40
going to, 61
this/that is/was, 62, 74, 80, 95, 185 
buddy in, 67
Mary Anne in, 90, 111
Nam shit, 107
effect of a powerful drug, 114
"in Vietnam," 118, 230, 238
Campaign Medal, 141; See army commendations
images of
as drug, 144
as ghost country, 202 
return to, 181, 184
alive and shimmering, 202
experience, 212
bugs, 220
flesh and blood, 221
choices, 234
Vietnamese nationalism, 45
village well, 80
ville, 96, 144, 157
Virgin Mary, 106
virgin, virginity
Martha as, 1, 2, 4, 11, 17, 24 
girlfriend, 76
Mary Anne, 106
vocabulary, 20
volleyball, 4, 23, 28, 95; See games
vote, 101, 143
vow, 200

 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

W
waiting, wait
at night, 10
to search a cave, 11
and boredom, 34
narrator plans to, 42
on a listening post operation, 72
Fossie, for Mary Anne, 107-108
narrator at ambush site, 132 
Kathleen, in the jeep, 182
wall, 101, 119, 120, 189, 203
wallet, 139
war, images of, as
ping-pong ball, 32; See games
black funnel, 34
sporting event, 37; See games
dead end maze, 47
weight, 51
hell and more, 78, 80
a ghostly fog, 82 
war, law for supporters of, 42
war stories, not a war for, 150; See true war story
warming house, 244
warranty, 89
waste, 148, 150, 153, 238
water buffalo, baby, 78, 79, 84, 85
water pipe, 160
weapons
.38 caliber Smith and Wesson handguns, 7
.66mm LAWS, 7
AK-47, 7, 96
ammunition, 5, 6, 13, 31, 63, 121, 129, 169, 231
artillery, 72, 219
ax, 17
barrel, 63, 207
bayonets, 7
blackjacks, 7
blade, 236, 246
bolos, 14
bombs, 127
booby trap, 71, 91, 197
Bouncing Betties, 33, 91, 118
brass knuckles, 7
bullet, 191, 192, 198, 213
C-4 plastic explosive, 7
caps, 7
CAR-15s, 7
cartridges, rifle, 208
Chi-coms, 7
clackers, battery-powered, 10
Claymore, 7, 16, 95
detonator, 10, 70
explosives, 10
firing devices, 36, 204
flares, 148, 149, 192, 207, 210, 211, 212, 214, 215, 216
gas, 143, 215
grenade, 7, 16, 37, 63, 68, 69, 70, 83, 131, 132, 133, 205, 215
guns, 62
HE [high explosives], 75
hunting hatchet, 3, 7, 13, 28
jackknife, 62,64
knife, 63, 214
land mines, 197
M-14s, 7
M-16, 5, 7, 98, 102, 239, 240
M-60, 5,7, 120
M-79, grenade launcher 6, 7
machettes, 9
machine gun, 120, 121, 122
mine, 33
mine, Claymore, 36
mortar fire, 169
mortar round, 65,169,170,171,177
muzzle, 22, 79, 132, 216
napalm, 75, 81, 220, 238
piece, 159, 160
pin, 70, 205, 215
pistol, 5, 10, 63, 145
rifle, 204, 211, 213
rifles, toy, 139
rocket, 81
rounds, 33, 80, 81, 83, 84, 145, 148, 149, 213, 223
RPGs, 7
shotguns, 7
silencers, 7
Simonov carbines, 7
slingshot, 7, 9, 25
Swedish Ks, 7
tear gas, 220
Uzis, black market, 7
weapons, clean, 25
Willie Peter [white phosphorous mortars], 75 
weight/weightlessness
carried things, 4-7, 9
water containers, 14
carried emotions, 21-23, 24
guilty conscience, 66
self realization, 208 
body weight, 222
Westmoreland, 42
White Fish Lake, 55
White Mountains, 1
white phosphorous, 81; See weapons
window, 30, 109, 119, 137, 143, 150, 151, 153, 229
wings, 22
Winnipeg, 55
Wisconsin, 138
wood stove, 244
wooden decoys, 147
wonder and awe, 82
Woolf, Virginia, 1
world, as if in slow motion, 19
worrying about tough missions, 10
Worthington, Minnesota, 42, 158, 232
wound, 141
wreckage, 135, 225
wrench, 140
wristwatch, 2, 29, 140, 149, 171,186, 207
writer, 28, 32, 236
writing, 34, 67

X

Y
Y, the. (see YMCA)
YMCA, 152, 155, 160
youth
narrator's age, 32, 34, 40, 179, 210, 212, 225, 245
Azar's, 37
old man's, 48
Lemon's at his death, 69, 70
monk's, 121
dancing girl's, 135
soldier's, 169-170 
Kathleen's, 180
Jorgenson's, 190, 204
Linda's, 228
yo-yo, 54, 70, 72, 73, 80 ; See games

Z

 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z