SECTION 06

Sergeant Wolfham hated Bosnia.
He hated Kosovo.
But he never hated either of those, like he hated Afghanistan, right now.
Getting dressed down, and facing possible courtmartial for firing back at a bunch of insurgents, while on recon patrol.
Now being dressed down by a Colonel… this is NOT fun.
Colonel Rehne: “Were you cleared to fire that weapon, Sergeant?”
Wolfham: “No, SIR!”
Rehne: “What prompted you to go beyond the scope of your duty,
Sergeant?”
Wolfham: “Sir! When I came under fire, I figured that in order to
complete my mission, and return with recon intel, I had to survive! I
felt the intel was more important than maintaining absolute no
contact…  SIR!”
Rehne: “I see. You need to go requisition a new set of stripes… Corporal.
Dismissed.”
Busted down to Corporal…
Wolfham hated Afghanistan.
Captain Roger Holmes watched the young man enter the infirmary, noted the bloody rips in the BDUs, and the look on the face that said he was about to cry, but wouldn’t allow himself.
CPL Wolfham sat down on the bunk and removed his BDU shirt, and tactical vest, showing several lacerations, bruises, and one cauterized wound on the arm.
“Tracers?” Cpt. Holmes asked.
“What? Oh… yeah… er.. yes sir.” Cpl Wolfham answered.
“Was it worth it, Sergeant?”
“Corporal, sir. And yes sir…” Wolfham got a far off look in his eyes, “Yes it was…. sir.”
The Marines sat the rest of the time in silence, as Captain Holmes treated the young man’s injuries.
The Corporal left, and Captain Holmes was left with the impression that the boy had seen something that scared him.
Scared him beyond fear for his own life, beyond fear for his Recon Unit… What could scare a Marine so?

Three days later…
Captain Holmes and Corporal Wolfham returned from a supply run, nearing the encampment, they could hear none of the usual radio chatter, though they attempted to raise the base, several times, on several channels.
Growing decidedly troubled, they halted well outside the basecamp, and crept to the top of a dune, scoping the situation with binoculars.
The sight that met their gaze made their hearts sink. The gates were crashed, with the guard towers destroyed, and wreckage and destruction as far inside the base as they could make out.
They jumped back in the hummer, and sped to the base, Captain Holmes driving, and Corporal Wolfham manning a SAW, watching for hostile forces.
“Do you notice something strange, Corporal?” Holmes asked his companion?
“You mean, other than the fact that there’s no smoke, and no bodies?” the Corporal asked.
Entering tents, and checking under vehicles, the duo checked for survivors. Stopping, from time to time to speculate as to the source of the very strange gashes in the armor of the tanks, and hummers, pools of blood, and lack of corpses. Many times they would come across dozens of spent brass cartridges, but never did they find any corpses, or weapons; nor could they see where anyone was drug off.
Wolfham sat with his head in his hands… he could almost hear the laughter…. that …. insane…. laughter….