In the story'Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" in The
Things they Carried by Tim O' Brian Mary Ann Bell goes from
one end of the spectrum to the other. Mary Ann is brought in by
her high school sweetheart, Mark Fossie. They are destined to be
married and live out the rest of their lives together. In a matter of
weeks she is transformed from a cute, blonde high school girl to a
ferocious animal of the jungle.
Mark Fossiefirst toys with the idea of bringing her over from
Cleveland and then goes through with it. "Listen, the guy sends her
the money. Flies her over. This cute blonde- just a kid, just barely
out of high school- she shows up with a suitcase and one of those
plastic cosmetic bags. Comes right out to the boonies (pg.102)."
She is very young, at most seventeen years old. She is pretty and
has a great personality that all the guys appreciate. She is never
afraid of the unseen horrors of the war. She thirsts for knowledge
about everything around her.
Mary Ann wants to know about everything and her desire for
knowledge leads her to the loners of the war, the green berets. She
starts by just going out on ambush with them then it progresses
more. "The way she quickly fell into the habits of the bush. No
cosmetics, no fingernail filing, cut her hair short and wrapped it in
a dark green bandana (pg.109)." She breaks it off with Mark Fossie
and doesn't want to leave the bush. She does stuff even the
greenies wouldn't do. She stays with them until she eventually
The greenies say she's still alive but they've never really
seen her again. She was one with the jungle. She was young and
innocent then became a ferocious hunter of the jungle. "She was
dangerous. She was ready for the kill (pg.125)."