As the German general begins his speech, Liebgott translates at Winters's bidding. I'll copy the whole thing: "Men, it's been a long war, it's been a tough war. You have fought bravely, proudly, for your country. You are a special group. We have found in one another a bond that only exists in combat, among brothers of shared foxholes, [who] held each other in dire moments, who've seen death and suffered together. I am proud to have served with each and every one of you. May you serve long and happy lives of peace." His words, syllabic anvils all, penetrate the men, who seem awed by the man's class, regal stature, and meaningful speech. Donnie's head turns almost instinctively toward his Easy comrades, as though he senses that the oration applies just as aptly to their shared experience. The enemy soldiers seem vulnerable, cut and scraped and bleeding just as the Allies were. Winters stares into space, moved and pensive and totally psyched that the war is ending and he can return to America, the land of opportunity, and the freedom to unite graham crackers and cake frosting.
And we're back in Lake Homoerotica II: The Awakening of Richard Winters. Our hero drips with sun-kissed water droplets. Nixon waits for him, perched on the edge of the pier and lovingly ogling a photograph of their youthful selves. In it, they're wearing physical-training gear and crouching on the ground. It's the type of photo that says, "Uh, well, he just dropped his, uh, pencil, and we both bent down to get it, and then our heads bumped together, sir, and uh, that's all we were doing. Our fingers weren't touching on purpose." Nixon can't believe how innocent they seem. "What the hell happened to them?" he wonders. Winters stands waist-deep in water and gazes affectionately at his boyfriend. "New Jersey, huh?" he asks. Nixon nods and reiterates his wish that Winters consider the job. "Yeah, I am," Winters says. "You awake yet?" Nixon snickers. "Awake? It's time to go to bed!" he giggles, standing. Then, in a fit of impulsiveness matched in predictability only by the outcome of a Tic-Tac-Toe game, Nixon leaps crazily off the pier and into the water, never taking off his clothes. That wacky man. He bathes himself in the soothing waters of man-love, home at last after a year of cold denial and bad oatmeal.