"Where Have You Gone Charming Billy?" Is a short story written by Tim O' Brien, that follows Private John Berlin, a United States soldier, as he and his platoon march through the swamps of Vietnam to the sea. Throughout the story, Berlin is tormented by the memories of "Billy Boy" Watkins, moments before his death. Watkins had stepped on a landmine while moving through the marshes. After losing his leg in the blast, he had begun to panic, fearing that he was going to bleed out and die, until he died of a heart attack. Later, upon reflection of Watkin's death with another soldier, known by the other soldiers as "Buffalo" or "Buff", Berlin, realizes how ridiculous Watkin's death was. He imagines Watkin's father reading the condolence letter that would be typed up, " SORRY TO INFORM YOU THAT YOUR SON BILLY BOY WAS YESTERDAY SCARED TO DEATH IN ACTION IN THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM, VALIANTLY SUCCUMBING TO A HEART ATTACK SUFFERED WHILE UNDER ENORMOUS STRESS, AND IT IS WITH GREATEST SYMPATHY THAT...". Berlin remembers loading Billy Boy onto the MEDEVAC (medical evacuation) chopper, then watching as it was rocked by a mortar shell landing nearby, dropping Billy Boy into the paddy (a rice field), and having to probe the waters with their rifles to find Billy Boy. Eventually pulling him up, the improvised bodybag covered in moss and algae. As the platoon approaches the sea, with Berlin still giggling about Billy Boy, he realizes that he can't stop being afraid.