"If I Die In A Combat Zone Box Me Up And Ship Me Home" by Tim O'Brien is a personal memoir about his tour of duty in Vietnam. It was published in 1973 and recounts his tour of duty in Vietnam but also includes biographical information about his childhood, playing army games and listening to war stories from Korean and WWII veterans in his hometown of Worthington Minnesota. The biographical information is essential to understanding O'Brien as both author and character in this compelling war story. Early on O'Brien considers going AWOL because of his personal opposition to the Vietnam War, a decision that would devastate his family and friends back home in small town America. The book takes the characters through a rigorous basic training then to a base in Chu Lai to learn about mine sweeping and jungle warfare, then to Quang Ngai Province to join Alpha Company. O'Brien recounts many of the uglies of real warfare, and the indiscriminate maiming/death to both civilians and combatants by land mines. This book examines what real courage is and looks like in many situations. O'Brien wrote "Combat Zone" before he wrote "The Things They Carried," so I would have students read "Combat Zone" first, as it is an easier read and not quite as complex as "The Things They Carried." All of O'Brien's books about Vietnam are at times painful, yet compelling reads about a time in US history that is still hotly debated. (Feedback about this item is greatly appreciated, and I invite you to become a follower to receive notices of FREEBIES, SALES and newly posted products). THANK YOU!!