The Question and Answer section for The Things They Carried is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Tim is examining his own motivations for running away to Canada, avoiding the war, or going to war in Vietnam. Tim says either choice was not good, it was an agonizing moral dilemma, "I feared the war, yes, but I also feared exile."
The first mention of Lavender's death is on page two of the story,
Ted Lavender, who was scared, carried tranquilizers until he was shot in the head outside the village of Than Khe in mid-April.
What chapter are you referring to?