Study Guide

The Things They Carried Friends

By Tim O'Brien


  • Dave Jensen and Lee Strunk get to the point where they trust each other pretty well. They make a pact that if one of them should get a wound so bad it would put him in a wheelchair, the other will kill him to put him out of his misery. They even put it on paper.
  • Of course, Lee Strunk eventually steps on a rigged mortar round and it blows his right leg off at the knee. He begs Dave Jensen not to kill him. Dave Jensen says not to worry—he won't be killing his friend.
  • Strunk doesn't believe him, but Jensen does as he was asked—he doesn't kill Strunk. Strunk dies as he is being airlifted out. It "seemed to relieve Dave Jensen of an enormous weight" (Friends.13).