By James R. McDonough
Within the culture of the funny vintage safety of Duffer's float, our hero's break out lies in finishing a profitable project.
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Additional info for Defense of Hill 781: An Allegory of Modern Mechanized Combat
He would now be commanding two mechanized infantry companies, two armor companies, a mechanized antitank company, a reconnaissance platoon, and a mechanized heavy mortar platoon, as well as a maintenance element of more than 100 mechanics and heavy equipment operators, all supported by yet another platoon with a myriad of supply and fuel trucks. To make matters worse, all kinds of attachments would further stretch his span of control—engineers, artillery coordination teams, air defense soldiers, and air force liaison—each of them with their own particular items of equipment that needed to be supplied, repaired, fueled, and operated.
As he walked toward a highway overpass several hundred meters away, he sensed a lightness to his body, oddly counterpoised by a heaviness to his soul. The thoughts just were not coming, and try as he might, he could not focus. A sign came into view as he closed on the overpass, taped to the columns supporting the roadway above, “HALT” emblazoned across it in big, thick black letters. Beneath, in finer print, was a series of instructions as to how a military convoy was to pass under, at what interval, at what speed, and so on, as if the poster of the sign was afraid that an unguided unit might sweep the columns out from under the highway, closing the artery bringing the sinners and their money to the Sodom and Gomorrah of the desert.
By evening his desire to not let them down had surpassed his desire to get himself out of Purgatory. If he achieved the first, the second would follow, but it was the first consideration that stressed itself to him. Concern for his unit and its people had overtaken his concern for himself. Somehow, the burden of the responsibility eased the disquiet Always had known since awakening that morning at the gates of Purgatory. As Always arrived back at his TOC, Major Rogers hurried out to meet him. “Sir, we’ve just received our warning order from Brigade.