When the dust cloud clears, Compton spies the motionless bodies of Gonorrhea and Toye, tangled in a heap, and loses the power of speech. "Mmm...mmm...MEDIC!" he stutters, aggrieved, bolting toward the duo. Gasping with shock and sorrow, he removes his helmet and stares at the horror before him, his fingers going slack and dropping his hat on the blood-soaked snow. Donnie bolts between foxholes to check on the health of his men. "Stay ready!" he calls. "Those stupid sons of bitches might be trying to come though!" Popeye Wynn proclaims himself "100% ready to kill Germans, sir!" Amen! Avenge the boys! I'm taking this awfully personally. But I've recapped their every move, and it's hard to recap their near-demise.
Donnie halts when he sees Toye and Gonorrhea, as does a startled Malarkey. He pales and asks the just-arrived Roe what he can do to help. "Got a smoke?" Toye trembles, wincing and still staring at the mangled flesh and bone mess that's where his kneecap should be. Gonorrhea likewise can't look away from his wound; his leg is still there, but only a thin strip of it connecting foot to knee. The rest is gone, blown to oblivion, carried away as ash on the winds of war. "Jesus, what's a guy got to do to get killed around here?" he breathes through his clenched jaw, equally terrified by what he's seeing where shin used to be. Roe orders for medics to load Gonorrhea onto a stretcher while he attends to Toye. The flesh left on Gonorrhea's leg twitches and jerks. "They got ol' Guarnere this time," he says, hiding tears with a pained chuckle. Donnie nods, broken, as Gonorrhea's stretcher moves toward a jeep. "Hey Joe, I told you I'd beat you back to the States," Gonorrhea calls to his buddy. Toye, agonized, can only stare. Luz walks over to Donnie, and his voice falters when he spies the horrible hit Easy Company just took. He suggests that Donnie go tend to Buck, who is seated on a branch nearby cradling his head in his hands.
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.