M & Ms: From research on other pages, I had been led to believe that "M & Ms" was a sarcastic term for medical supplies, but I now believe that I am wrong. I am not sure of the entire term, but I believe that one of the Ms refers to morphine which would be consistent with O'Brien's tone and context when his narrator suggests it is for more serious wounds.
USO: United Service Organization (Volunteer Entertainment and Morale)
Savior Motif in "The Things They Carried"
Hints in the Story:
Jimmy Cross: Initials are J. C.|
Jimmy Cross: Last Name is Cross
Martha: Jesus had a friend named Martha
Lee Strunk: Jimmy Cross is there when Lee Strunk rises from the dead. Okay, Strunk did not literally rise from the dead, but that is the way the narrator describes it and that is even the way that the other characters (created by the author) tell it. "A few moments later Lee Strunk crawled out of the tunnel. He came up grinning, filthy but alive. Lieutenant Cross nodded and closed his eyes while the others clapped Strunk on the back and made jokes about rising from the dead." (O'Brien 13)
Jimmy Cross suffers the grief for the platoon: "One thing for sure, he said. The lieutenant's in some deep hurt. I mean that crying jag -- the way he was carrying on -- it wasn't fake or anything, it was real heavy-duty hurt. (O'Brien 17)
And again: "Lying there, Kiowa admired Lieutenant Jimmy Cross's capacity for grief. He wanted to share the man's pain, he wanted to care as Jimmy Cross cared. And yet when he closed his eyes, all he could think was Boom-down, and all he could feel was the pleasure of having his boots off and the fog curling in around him and the damp soil and the Bible smells and the plush comfort of night."