Donnie sits quietly in his foxhole and cleans Hoobler's Luger. That sounds like an internal organ of the gooey, non-essential variety. "I heard about Hoobler," a voice says. Donnie looks up in surprise to see Lt. Dike standing above his foxhole. "Shame." Donnie agrees. Dike asks whether that's the Luger; Donnie says it is, but that he hasn't ascertained just what to do with the offending weapon yet. "Where'd you grow up?" Dike asks. "Huntington, West Virginia," Donnie says, shooting Dike a confused look that reflects the randomness of this quiz. "What kind of work did you do there?" Dike wonders. "My brother and I helped my mother run a boarding house," he answers. We learn that Donnie's father died in an automobile when the lad was ten. "That's sad," Dike says, as though Donnie just confessed that he's got a zit festering on his chin and no Oxy. Dike then decides to investigate why Donnie became a paratrooper, probably trying to understand something about the men he's commanding. Or, he's killing time between bathroom breaks. Donnie explains that he read an article about paratroopers in Life magazine, which discussed the grueling training and concluded that only the very best men succeed to become certified paratroopers. "I wanted to fight with the best," Donnie tells his superior yet vastly inferior officer, the irony of that situation not completely lost on the sergeant. Dike asks whether Donnie misses Huntington. "Honestly, I try not to think about it that much," Donnie replies. "What about you, where are you fr..." At that second, Donnie realizes Dike has trotted away without warning. He shakes his head in amazement, having learned that dorks come in all kinds of uniforms.
A Jeep plows through the snow and stops at Nixon's foxhole, waking up the decidedly hung over captain. The new arrival is a messenger, who hands Nixon a piece of paper and then flees the stench of whiskey, vomit, and morning breath that no doubt clouds the air around Nixon's foxhole like dirt clouds cling to Pigpen.
"Morning, sir," Nixon says jauntily to Winters, who is shaving and looks outstanding. Red hair against snow...mmm. I'm such a girl about this show. Nixon grins that a notice came from division, and he brandishes it dramatically. "Eviction notice?" Winters asks, dryly. Nixon is glowing. "I think I got something to help you with your leadership problem," he replies happily. Winters hopes against all reason that Dike has been transferred. "No, can't help you there," Nixon says. "But, division is plucking one officer from each regiment that served in the heroic defense of Bastogne and sending them back to the States for a three-day furlough, getting them out banging the drum for the war-bond drive, that sort of thing." Nixon grins that he's been plucked, and passes the notice to Winters, who is genuinely delighted for his pal but fails to see how his boyfriend's absence could possibly help him. "It doesn't. That's why I'm not going," Nixon announces. "I've been to the States. I grew up there. That's why I came to Europe. Just wish they'd told me there was a war on." Aw! Nixon's a boozehound and not cut out for combat, but he's committed to his friends and he's giving up the free ticket home and what if something happens to him now and I'm getting choked here and need to sit down. Winters is obviously appreciative of the sacrifice, as Nixon drives home the point that surely another man in the battalion could use a long trip back to the U.S.