Chapter 9 Summary

The ninth story of The Things They Carried is “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong.” The narrator explains that there are a lot of stories from Vietnam, but the best are the ones that rest between the improbable and bedlam. “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” is a story he heard from Rat Kiley, who had a reputation for exaggeration, but who swore this story was true. It begins when Kiley was stationed as a medic at an aid station in the mountains west of Chu Lai, near the village Tra Bong. The compound overlooks the river, Song Tra Bong. Though the compound was not very secure, the soldiers enjoyed their duty there because there was little military discipline and no humping. The only soldiers that cared about fighting...

(The entire section is 586 words.)