Compton rains on a foxhole containing George Luz, Skip Muck, and Alex Penkala. "I'm serious!" he tells them. "Sure thing, boss. Nothing stupid. We got it," Skip and Penkala say. Compton demands the same assertion from tired, unenergized Luz, and finally gets it. Compton leaves, satisfied that he could make a run at the Grim Reaper's racket once this dang ol' war ends. "Don't do anything stupid? Who the hell is he talking to? A bunch of morons who volunteered to jump out of a perfectly good airplane," Penkala giggles. "Can it get more stupid than that?" Luz moans, "Probably not." Skip gulps and admits he swam across Niagara once on a bet. "What, in a barrel?" Luz asks, curious and dubious at once. "No, I didn't go over the Falls, I swam the river ten miles up," insists Skip. "That current is damn strong. Must've carried me two miles downstream before I got across." He laughs that he didn't find it stupid, but his mother and sister thought otherwise and blasted him for doing it; so did his girlfriend Faye. "Well, they had a point," grumbles Penkala. "You're an idiot."
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.