What is courage in these stories’ contexts in The Things They Carried? This portrayal of courage may be compare with the one presented in “On the Rainy River” or elsewhere.
In the largest sense, it is possible to say courage in The Things They Carried was simply that the men were there and they continued to think and feel and act while they were there. Vietnam was a vicious war with hidden dangers and an "anyone could be the enemy" mentality that was not apparent in the same way in other wars. The impingement on the psyche that the factors defining this war produced and the rebellion against the war among civilians in the U.S. required a unique courage from the soldiers just to be and to be there.