The fifth person Eddie meets in heaven
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Tala is the last of Eddie's "Five People." After Eddie and the other soldiers escaped from their Filipino captors, they torched the village beneath which they were held for so long. Eddie believed that he saw a child in one of the burning tents and tried to go in after him/her, but the Captain shot him in the leg so he could not enter the tent; it would have been certain death. Until the moment that Eddie and Tala meet, neither Eddie nor the reader know if there really was a child in that tent. Tala confirms that she was that child and she died that day. Eddie breaks down but Tala comforts him; she reveals that Eddie did save "Annie or Amy" on the day of his death. She teaches Eddie about moving on from his pain. After meeting Tala, Eddie accepts the fact that his life meant a great deal to many people.