Lest you think O'Brien is limited in any way to war stories, please see In the Lake of the Woods, which won the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best Historical Fiction in 1995, for a first-rate mystery (the word is inadequate as a description of this book). See Tomcat In Love for the priceless satirical tale of a gentleman(?) who might, or might not, be the mid-west's answer to Casa Nova. O'Brien is a recipient of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, awarded in 2012 for lifetime achievement. His papers are archived at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. Go here for a complete bibliography; here for the author's web site; here for his Facebook page.
O'Brien very rarely comments on the politics of the Vietnam era but when he does it can be quite sharp. For instance, he once remarked that his hometown was "a town that congratulates itself, day after day, on its own ignorance of the world: a town that got us into Vietnam..." Ouch. And bravo. Incredibly, we still suffer from this complex and it got us into Iraq and Afghanistan. To be proud of our ignorance and arrogance is a disservice to ourselves, our military, and, because of our power, a disservice to the entire globe. And...take a breath (hopping off my soap box). Back to lit.
Our story is "The Things They Carried," which is both the title of a story and the title of the collection. The devil, and everything else, is in the details.