It's about the special way that dawn spreads out on a river when you know you must cross the river and march into the mountains and do things you are afraid to do. The strange thing about the pages of unrelated stories is that the stories eventually cohere.
This litany of the little, which takes up the opening 25 pages of The Things They Carried, could serve as a case study for wannabe writers on the disproportionate power of the telling detail in narrative fiction. The power of reading a beautifully written story stays with you forever.
Although the book is an easy read, it feels like you are reading something you would hear on the street, with all of the colloquial language. The quote states than in war a machine, which could be a gun, sometimes has more power than a person does.
It's about sorrow.
Flashes of gunfire from hidden places, land mines and other impersonal dangers can prove no less fatal than a flesh-and-blood assailant.