Generation Kill

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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In The Valley Of Elah-Elah-Elah (Hey, Hey, Hey)

Meesh's eyes are full of tears. "He said he's sorry."

"He wants to know if he can take his daughter's body." The man heads slowly back to his car. Rudy's disbelieving, but Meesh is still close to crying. "Arabs don't grieve the way you do," Meesh says. "It's different for him." How true can that be? How can that be true?

The man stares down at her body, and gathers her in his arms. She's not wearing shoes. He carries his daughter back into the night.

Bravo One's listening to radio chatter when Rudy returns. He doesn't look up or acknowledge them, just walks by. "Rudy," Brad says. "What happened up at Charlie?" Rudy doesn't even slow down.

They watch the mortar fire. "Shit's really ... Pretty, isn't it?" Brad doesn't answer, but he knows what Ray means.

Next day is kids, climbing around on the busted-open truck, around the bodies. Chaffin looks through the windshield at the driver: "Garza got him right between the eyes... Well, where his eyes used to be." Planes fly by, dropping missiles and returning. "Sounds like RCT-1's fucking shit up on their way through town, huh?" Chaffin grins at Manimal. "Fuck yeah, they are." Manimal looks at the body for a second and wanders away.

"I felt cold as a motherfucker shooting those guys," Espera says, thinking about the men in that truck. Traffic comes toward them, but it's just Alpha. Brad almost smiles. "Alpha's home." Little kids cheer the oncoming victors. "They think we're cool 'cause we're so good at blowing shit up," Ray says. Brad chews his dip and everybody loads up.

When Patterson and Barrett drive up, Nate asks how it went. "Brought all my men back." Nate asks Al Shatra, what happened there, and for once it's not the total tragic bleakness that keeps Patterson's mouth shut. "Nate... You wouldn't believe it, man." Barrett keeps driving; Q-Tip asks about them the missing Marine. Fawcett looks at him, but doesn't answer. They keep driving.

Oscar Mike, into the next thing. Brad sings "Teenage Dirtbag" quietly to himself; soon enough everybody but Trombley -- who wasn't even born when the song was written, in 2000 --- is singing along. Ray harmonizes; they're all grinning hard in the sun, in relief. It's like taking a shower. Back behind them, Espera's still not coping: his glare is hard, out onto the MSR and past it into the distance. But up front, driving point, they're singing.

Brad thanks Ray quietly, when they're done. Ray thanks him right back.

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Generation Kill

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