Throughout the story in The Things They Carried, O'Brien lets us see the war from the soldiers' point of view. You get to see how the men interacted with each other, and how each person had special habits and superstitions. But what I thought was the most interesting was how Ted Lavender's death was repeated and emphasized over and over again, especially in the first chapter.
Here are some quotations about Ted Lavender's death all within the first story.
"Ted Lavender, who was scared, carried tranquilizers until he was shot in the head outside the village of Than Khe in mid-April" (2).
"Ted Lavender, who was scared, carried 34 rounds when he was shot and killed outside Than Khe" (6).
"Until he was shot, Ted Lavender carried the starlight scope..." (9)
After mentioning it the first time, you would think the readers would understand that Ted Lavender died because he was shot. Maybe O'Brien was trying to emphasize this point because he wanted to people to understand what was at stake during the war. It could be that he wanted to make sure we knew that getting shot in the head was perfectly probable and possible. Or maybe it was just me that thought Ted Lavender's death was made into a big deal?