Is the narrator who never wanted to fight in the Vietnam War and remains haunted by memories even 20 years after he returns to America.
First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross
Is a solitary, pensive platoon leader who cares about his men. He carries photos and letters from the girl he loves back home in New Jersey, who doesn’t love him back.
Bob “Rat” Kiley
Is a likable and skilled medic who braves danger to keep his fellow soldiers alive. He carries comic books, brandy, and M&Ms.
Is a kind and moral soldier from Oklahoma, a Native American, a devout Baptist. He carries an illustrated New Testament, worn out moccasins, and his grandfather’s feathered hunting hatchet.
Is a quiet boy from Central Iowa who strives to live up to his father’s expectations and finds he can’t relate to anyone back home after the war. He carries a diary and a thumb cut from a Viet Cong corpse.
Is a large, strong, dependable, unsophisticated machine gunner. He caries extra rations and wears his girlfriend’s pantyhose tied around his neck.