by Becca Jennings and Alexander Hehr From compasses and rations to rabbit feet and lucky pebbles, a Vietnam War soldier’s pack was filled with items that varied by function. But all were carried with the same purpose—with the hope that these items would keep their keepers alive to see the next sunrise. It takes a brave soldier to face the horrors of war. Sometimes, it … Continue reading Carrying It with Us: The Soldier’s War
by Alexander Hehr About Tim O’Brien Tim O’Brien is a native Minnesotan. Born in Austin, raised in Worthington, and attended Macalester College in St. Paul, O’Brien never lived outside of his home state until 1968, when he was drafted for the Vietnam War. After his tour from 1968-1970, he headed straight to graduate school at Harvard and later worked for the Washington Post. In 1973, … Continue reading About the Writers
by Lydia Baxter Just as you can learn a lot about a person by examining what they keep in their car or on their bookshelf, the contents of a Vietnam War soldier’s pack give insight into his values and dreams. In addition to personal mementos such as photographs or letters from home, here are some of the standard items infantry soldiers (also called “grunts”) carried … Continue reading What Really Were the Things They Carried?
by Becca Jennings Like their owners, objects carry stories. From functional tools to sentimental mementos, we assign the most value to the “stuff” of life that most represents, for each of us, what it means to be alive. Lined up together, these items tell the story of us. In life’s most extreme moments, the choice of what to let go of and what to hold … Continue reading Storing Our Stories: Objects Tell All