Hi, I am Tim O'Brien. I never wanted to go to Vietnam. It all goes back to when I got my draft notice.
"I am too good for war. I don't like blood. I don't like authority. I can't do this. I'm leaving."
Hi, Tim, I'm Elroy. You can stay here at the Tip Top Lodge and work around here for a few days instead of paying room and board.
Tim O'Brien is a soldier in the Alpha Company that is the center of the stories in The Things They Carried. After the war, he becomes a writer and is the narrator in many of the stories.
Tim O'Brien had graduated college and was going to Harvard in the fall, but that was not a way to get deferred from the draft notice he received in the summer. He had no interest in the war or serving in a war he did not support or truly understand.
Elroy was an influential person for Tim O'Brien because he was the "hero of his life." He let O'Brien have the time to think about his future before making the decision to go to war.