Zippy hands Winters a sheaf of papers to sign, and he obliges, but not without tensely checking his watch. I do feel for him, but I also can't think of a more boring operation than Operation Pegasus. Winters is probably facing a bigger threat from the splinters on his wooden desk. Meanwhile, Moose is warmly greeted by another Brit. "God bless you, my man," he says. They load the soldiers onto the boats and push off back across the river.
Raising a glass of lager, the Brits toast their American rescuers. "Moose Heyliger and the American 101st" -- wow, that's giving Moose too much power -- "have done the Red Devils a great service, making it possible for us to return and fight the enemy on another day," Dobie shouts. "To Easy Company! Victory, and Currahee!" Everyone bellows, "Currahee!" and heavy chugging ensues. Winters, still holed up in his room, peeks at the site of the ruckus through his window and allows his mouth to form a teensy smile. He's proud of Easy, even if he can't command it anymore.
Oct. 31, 1944; Driel, Holland. Winters and Moose stroll beside a deserted railroad track at night. "I was only Easy's CO for four months, Moose," protests Winters, reluctant to give the man definitive advice about the job. Even if it was out of necessity, it's to Winters's credit that he moved up the ranks so quickly and with so little hesitation from his superiors. Moose insists that Winters is the only combat commander the men of Easy have ever known, and here Moose is, coming from a different company altogether.... "You know where they came from, and what they've been through," notes Winters. "Hang tough. Train the new platoon leaders and trust your non-coms." The non-coms (NCOs, or non-commissioned officers) are folks like Gonorrhea, Martin, Malarkey, and Bull Randleman, the staff sergeants who run squads. In Easy's case, most of them were the only original members remaining, and they had the enduring respect of men both above and below them. We witnessed that last week, when Randleman went missing and his squad risked its life to find him.