Most of the gang in the Battalion have deployed before– they know what is coming and what will be missed. That casual ‘bon homme’ of closer than casual friendship will be replaced with an immediate need to watch out for each other because real and immediate needs will exist. For now, that bond can be painted over with a thin coat of silly and frivolous fun, some drinking, and other things that allow us to look away and pretend that worries don’t run as deep as they really do.
Joe Rock got promoted to Staff Sergeant, and now Philip Albright is getting his stripes to become a Sergeant. Soon he’ll have to worry about more than his left and right limit of fire and increasingly about the younger guys who don’t know what to be scared of, and the older guys who know all too well.