In his room, Nixon downs shot after shot of Vat 69 whiskey. This is what Nixon calls "brunch." Shrugging off his jacket, Nixon stares at himself in the mirror, splashing cold water onto his face and thinking how pretty he looks when he's drunk. Nixon flicks off his suspenders and plops down on the bed just as Winters appears in the doorway. "Dog," Winters grins. "Making combat jumps with the 17th while I'm in supply briefings all morning." Nixon heaves a huge sigh, sarcastically blessing his good luck. Winters congratulates him, guessing that he's the only man in the 101st Airborne with three combat stars pinned over his jump wings. Nixon, based on his expression, figures three pieces of dung pinned over his jump wings would mean about as much. "Not bad for someone who's never fired his weapon in combat," he says. Winters can't believe that, with all the action Easy has seen, Nixon never once pulled the trigger. He's intrigued. Nixon is intrigued by the empty shot glass, and promptly fills and drains it once more. He exposits grouchily that, during his freelance ride with the 17th, the plane got hit and went down, exploding over Germany. Everyone died except Nixon and two others. Winters apologizes blandly for the trauma. "Oh, the boys -- right, terrible," Nixon brats. "Oh well, wasn't me!" His false cheer drives home the point that Nixon's grown embittered of late and is disenchanted with the idea of war and wasteful death. And he really, really wants some pancakes. "You know, the real tragedy is, they also lost the CO, so guess who gets to write all the letters home?" grouses Nixon, throwing the empty Vat 69 bottle into a metal trash can. Swoosh. Nothing but net. "Goddamn nightmare," he breathes through clenched teeth. Winters stares straight ahead, unflinching but concerned.
Nixon charges into the building's dining room and opens a fresh bottle. Winters strolls in and exposits that Col. Sink paid him a visit that morning. Nixon cares more about navel lint. "How is the good Colonel?" he says flatly. "Concerned," responds Winters. "Still drinking nothing but the Vat 69, huh?" Nixon smartmouths, "Only the finest for Mrs. Nixon's baby boy." Winters grimly explains that Sink is demoting Nixon back to battalion S-3; Nixon had been working on the regiment level. Nixon ignores this. "What do you think I should write to these parents, Dick?" he asks. "Did you hear what I said, Nix? You've been demoted," Winters booms, in case the whiskey dulled his pal's hearing. Nixon continues on his subject of choice, noting with a tinge of anger that he can't quite find the words to tell these families that the sons died before even evacuating the plane. "You tell them what you always tell them -- their sons died as heroes," Winters heroically intones. Nixon marvels that his friend still believes the propaganda. "Yeah, I do," Winters calmly states. "Don't you?" Nixon wears the rueful smile of one who no longer believes in anything.