The Retch Heard Round the AO

The command post is packed with the junior leadership teams from both Bravo companies.

That’s how the higher ups had decided to match them for the duration of the transition period, by their phonetic alphabet designators. So Alpha Company of this battalion matched with Alpha of that battalion, and so on and so forth, until the entire 1st Cavalry Division and 3rd Infantry Division had counterparts with which they would learn from over the next four weeks.

Four weeks. Incredibly close and impossibly far away. Now is when the nerves reemerge. He can see it, and if he can’t see it he could sense it amongst his men, his fellow platoon leader’s men, everyone who had been on Forward Operating Base War Eagle for the last eleven months. Hell, he felt them. Four weeks left until their one year deployment was over, thirty days and a wake up until they could catch that big, beautiful bitch (also known as a civilian airliner) home to the states. More specifically, home to Texas, the land of Shiner Bock, twelve hour smoked brisket, and all the blonde hair, blue eyed University of Texas co-eds one could hope for packed onto a little strip of debauchery known as Austin’s Sixth Street. He can’t wait to get there, but he also can’t stand the thought of buying the farm now, not when they were so close. It keeps him up almost every night, at least on the nights that sheer exhaustion doesn’t force him asleep. He lies awake praying, no begging God to let the men of Bandit Company, himself included get home alive and unharmed. Just four weeks to go.

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