Posted by: normanlgreen | March 21, 2012

Dream, March 21, 2012 green troops and failing ammo


Dream, home, 5:28 am

Second night of dreaming I am at war.

There is to be a major offensive, and I am an infantry veteran. Our company marched from one engagement to another, becoming seriously depleted in the process. Few of the men with whom I started the war still have their legs. Some are dead, and some have been taken away with wounds too serious for the front.

I sense masses of men on the far side of a ridge, just behind me. We prepare ourselves and our weapons, as we stand on a sandy road – too wide to call a trail, yet impractical for most vehicles. I low voices, we discuss the ammunition problem. I hold a 50 caliber cartridge, knowing that it has a one in three chance of failing. The road is a link in a chain of loops that surround the sand dunes that are covered in scrub brush just taller than a man. The muzzle of a howitzer protrudes from the pampas grass on the ridge at our rear.

New men, green and dressed in clean uniforms, drift down the hill to join our ranks. A pink-faced kid, 40 pounds overweight, rolls his eyes in wonder and fear. Some of the experienced foot-soldiers speak their disdain for the kids who are to swell our ranks for the big offensive. I say there is neither time nor advantage to debating their quality. We need numbers and these are men.

The boom of the big guns, the commencement of the artillery barrage, signals us to march. Rifles in hand, we walk in the direction the howitzer fires. The road narrows and splits off into smaller, curved trails. As we have more  inexperienced soldiers than veterans, I judge which splintered patrol needs my experience. The group that rounds to the left has a corporal I know, so I let him take that patrol as I pare-off to the right with the heavy kid and a bunch of other greenhorns who look like they wear their fathers’ uniforms for a costume party. I feel very protective – just want to get as many of them through this as is possible. We trudge ahead, arms at the ready, enemy unseen.

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