Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Chapter Seventy-three

The fact that she had gotten a medal when so many others ad not bothered her greatly. She had done nothing other than her duty and then the Colonel had handed her that medal. Susan Hyland sat in her office, her feet propped up, holding the small box. She opened the lid and looked at the scrap of brightly colored cloth and the bit of polished metal. It reflected the lost of about half her company. A lot of people had died so that she could earn that medal.

Sergeant Swain entered the company office, saw her holding the box, and asked, "Is that it?"

"Yeah. The Colonel gave it to me this morning. Formal ceremony will be in about a week."

"Well, you deserved it," said Swain.

"No... Monier deserved it. Price and Coollege deserved it because they didn’t have to be there... Lots of others deserved it, but I’m not so sure about me."

"That’s the way it is, Captain. The leader gets the medal ad the rest of us get nothing."

Hyland grinned and hit a key on the computer. The screen brightened. She pointed to it and said, "The one real advantage of being in command is that I can make your life miserable too. Take a look at that."

Swain moved around and saw his name at the top of the screen. It was the standard form used for promotion. He was to be commissioned as a second lieutenant.

"No, ma’am, I don’t think this is a good idea."

"I lost too many officers on that mission. I need replacements whom I can trust. You win. Sorry, Lieutenant. The order goes into effect tomorrow morning. I would suggest you have your last fling with the NCOs because tomorrow they won’t speak to you."

Swain stood silently for a moment and then nodded. "Thank you," he said. "I appreciate you confidence you have in me."

"You’re welcome, Lieutenant."

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