When the author started talking about Jensen and Strunk's agreement, I automatically got a sense of foreshadowing of a detrimental event approaching. Their pact basically said that if one of them should ever get mortally injured, the other would have to find a way to put them out of their misery and end it for them. I found this highly unsettling. I mean, I don't think I'd ever agree to kill one of my friends if they were in immense pain. Should they get injured, I would think that I would want to try everything to save their life rather than take it. Injury or not, being alive is being alive. Those soldiers had families and wives and children and friends waiting back home for them. No matter what appendages were missing, I can guarantee that a soldier's mother would want their son back rather than a flag.
Sure enough, soon afterwards Lee Strunk stepped on a rigged mortar round and blew off half of his leg. When it came down to it, he realized he didn't want to lose his life at all. I'm sure Jensen felt pressure to honor their contract but was probably even more panicked at what had happened. I'm sure neither of them actually counted on ever having to do that to each other.
"For a time there was some question as to whether Strunk was still alive, but then he opened his eyes and looked up at Dave Jensen. 'Oh, Jesus,' he said, and moaned, and tried to slide away and said, 'Jesus, man, don't kill me.'
'Relax,' Jensen said.
...'Really, it's not so bad. Not terrible. Hey, really - they can sew it back on - really.'" (page63)
I'm quite certain that I wouldn't like to be a soldier at war. Watching a friend of mine die before my eyes would be something I don't know that I could handle.