The man that Tim O'Brien considers to be his "life hero." Berdahl takes O'Brien in after O'Brien attempts to dodge the draft and head for Canada. O'Brien stays with Berdahl for a week at The Tip Top Lodge, where Berdahl offers him money and the opportunity to flee while they're out on a boat ride.
The timeline below shows where the character Elroy Berdahl appears in The Things They Carried. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
On the Rainy River
...season was over. They spent all their time together: hiking, working, playing Scrabble. O'Brien remembers Elroy's deliberate silence—he never asked questions about why O'Brien was there even though it was 1968... (full context)