Gingerly, Donnie approaches the lieutenant, crouching next to him and speaking softly and with sympathy. In voice-over, Donnie reckons that the real change in Buck came after seeing his close friends Toye and Gonorrhea lying in pieces on Belgian soil. Compton looks off in the distance to avoid showing the depth of his pain.
An ambulance tears toward a town hospital, but it's unclear where, since Bastogne was left in ruins and Foy still belongs to the Germans. "One report said Compton was taken off the line because of a bad case of trench foot," Donnie says. "It didn't say anything about him losing his friends." Panning across a hospital, where soldiers visit their felled friends, we see Compton lying on a bed, alone, staring at the ceiling. "Buck was a great combat leader. He was wounded in Normandy, and again in Holland. He received a Silver Star for his part in taking out those guns on D-Day. He took everything the Krauts could throw at him, time and again," Donnie says. Except, apparently, whatever the Krauts threw at his nearest and dearest. Buck rolls over toward the camera, exposing red puffy eyes on the verge of another torrent of tears. Malarkey arrives to visit Buck, sitting by his bedside and reading aloud a piece of mail from Compton's home. "UCLA didn't make the Rose Bowl this winter, probably because you weren't there," he reads. "Gosh, how we all know what an exciting young man you are, and how your heart and love..." Buck reaches over and grabs the letter, throwing it down on the bed and burying his face in the pillow, weeping. Silently, Malarkey folds the note gently and ticks it in his former boss's pocket. "I guess he couldn't take seeing his friends Toye and Guarnere all torn up like that," Donnie voice-overs. "No one ever thought less of him for it." Compton, too, then. I can't take much more of this. I'm openly crying now.