I bit my tongue. I would have loved nothing more than to live up to my nickname. Another 90 days in this shitole? I wasn't happy. After all, who would be? But still, I nodded my head. "Yes, Sir." I stood up, trying not to show my displeasure in all this.
"Staff Sergeant." The Captain's voice, though low, was harsh.
"Sir?" I faced him.
"You're not any happier than I am about this either."
"No disrespect, Sir, but you're not really the one this is going to affect." I left Captain Baron's tent. He had just become our CO three months earlier. He was…is…a good man. The type of officer you want to serve under. But this? I don't think he had an inkling of what it was like.
The Army had become my life…my 'wife'. I had no personal life, a situation I was hoping to rectify when I finally got home, but now those plans were changed because some Platoon Sarge decided he wanted to get sick and need some sort of surgery. I made my way to the phone tent, annoyed at the line. Everyone in Camp Middle Of Fuckin' Nowhere wanted to make a call at the same moment I wanted to. I rolled my head in frustration, deciding that I'll make the call home later.
As soon as I hit my cot, the sirens for yet another mortar attack went off. Yippee. Action. I thought as I dashed out the tent to where it was supposedly safe. Next to me was a tall kid with glasses, who was spouting some shit about Socrates and war. I merely rolled my eyes. Just what the Army needs. Another smart ass. We stood for a few moments, waiting for the sirens to stop. The tall kid was still spouting some philosophical shit while the others just stared at him. I shook my head, stifling a laugh and walked out of the safe area.
It was the next day I found out that group of young men…the one with the philosophical smart ass…was the small fire team I would be in charge of. Just great. I'm going to get some kid that will fucking analyze war and what good does it do. I sighed as I sat at the table to enjoy centuries old Army chow. Of course, sitting at the next table is that smart shithead from the bunker. I sigh in frustration. Of course their Platoon Sarge got sick. Sick of that shit he's spouting. I get up and empty my tray, even though I'm not done.
I'm not excited. 90 more days and I have to deal with an analytical shit. I notice a line again at the phone tent. Does everyone have this fucking instinct of when I'm going to make a call? Is there a memo posted somewhere that says 'Scream is making a call at 1800…everyone to the phones immediately'? I think. Really, I think there was a memo that I missed. I sigh and continue to my tent, hoping to catch some sleep.
Tired couldn't even begin to describe what I felt. Zombie-hood more like it. But, as I lay down, the smart ass and his comrades come in the tent. I didn't expect introductions, but yet, we were all sitting and introducing ourselves. The smart one…Frank Dumphy…was nicknamed 'Dim'. Said it was because he went to Cornell, but still joined the Army. I was thinking it was because he was a smart ass who didn't know shit from salad.
I have never been accused of caring for the men who serve under me. Never felt that as a Sarge I should. I shouldn't care about their personal home lives until it puts my men at risk. So, as they are chatting up about old times and training, I lean back, hoping to get sleep.
And I do. Sleep and I sleep well, despite the fact that I've a feeling this 'Dim' character is going to be more trouble than he's worth. Guess I'll need the energy.