I have not read this story by Tim O'Brien; however, I did read: "Where Have You Gone, Charming Billy?" The author often uses understatement and irony to make a point in this excerpt from a book he wrote. This title actually comes from a sweet and simple song and is ironic because--in this excerpt from his book--the soldiers are singing this while looking for the body of a very young man who was just killed in war. Perhaps the comment made by Oscar is meant to remind the reader that even when a tragedy occurs or something horrific happens, life goes on as usual except for those who are affected by what happened. Tim O'Brien fought in a war and uses his own experiences to bring his stories to life. I was fortunate enough to meet him at a teachers' conference, and he shared stories with us. He was charming, witty, and knowledgeable.