Sergeant Phoenix

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“Hey, you there,” Sergeant Phoenix yelled, while shooting blindly over a small wall that he was using for cover from an enemy machine-gun nest.

“Yes, Sir,” The soldier answered back in a questioned tone that suggested that the Sergeant should know his name. “What is it Sarge? Where do you need me?”

Sergeant Phoenix, like his comrades, was clothed in ragged, worn-torn, forest green uniform, accompanied by brown, mid-shin army boots and an abused helmet that looked as if it had gone through hell and back. “Corporal, right,” Phoenix asked timidly, “Jones, is it?”

“Um, yes Sir. That’s correct,” Jones looked at his commanding officer with total aggravation.

“Okay then, Corporal,” Phoenix said as he was struck with a burst of confidence after getting the Corporal’s name right. “What I need you to do is, find a way onto those rooftops over there and then find a way to get that machine-gun nest inoperable. After that I need you to give us some cover fire so we can take out those artillery guns.”

“Yes, Sir,” Jones said again, only this time his words were filled with pride.

“Hey, Jones, wait a second.” Phoenix paused to give the Corporal enough time to turn around. “Take Private Miller and Brooklyn with you and hurry it up ‘cause we need those artillery guns moved before our tank boys can move in and take this God-forsaken dump.”

“Consider it done, Sarge,” Jones said as he was turning to find Private Miller. “Private Miller, Brooklyn!”

“Yeah, Jones,” said Brooklyn, “what is it?”

“We got to clear those rooftops over there. Where’s Miller?” Jones was looking around very nervously.

“He’s behind you Corporal,” Brooklyn was pointing to a rookie that looked like he had been in the army for years.

Jones turned around a quickly as a person physically could. “Private Miller,” Jones yelled out sternly. “Get over here, Sarge has an objective for us to complete.”

“Okay, Jones,” Miller hesitated, “I’m so—.”

Jones cut him off before he could finish, “Miller, you know that you have to refer to me as Corporal now.”

“Yeah,” Miller said shamefully, “I—I know that.”

“Hey,” Phoenix yelled. “What the hell do you guys think you’re doing?” The Sergeant seemed very angry at the three soldiers. “Corporal, I thought I told you to take these to privates and clear those rooftops!?”

“Yeah, you did Sir,” Jones said, sounding like he had taken Miller’s shame and doubled it with guilt. “Sir, I was just telling—.”

“Corporal, I want you to shut-up and do what I say to do at the exact moment that the words leave my mouth and I don’t think I told you to stand here and talk about what I told you to do. Did I,” the Sergeant gave no room of time for an answer. “No, Corporal, I didn’t and I don’t want any jackass excuses to go along with all this frustration!” Phoenix, overflowing with anger, was beginning to turn as red as the devil himself. “Corporal, you stay here—actually,” the Sergeant stopped to think about what he wanted to do. “Actually, I want every single squad member to follow me!” he yelled so loud that a tank driver, in a tank that was fifty-yards away, could hear him as clear as if he reading the sergeant’s words from a piece of paper. “We’re all going to clear these rooftops together!”

“Okay, Sarge,” Jones looked at his commanding officer with admiration and confidence. “We’re right behind you, Sir.”

Phoenix looked back at Jones and uttered quietly, “We won’t have any stupid mistakes now, will we?”

Jones shook his head violently and answered, “No, Sir. We will do whatever it takes, Sir. We are behind you one hundred percent of the way.”

“Okay, good then,” Phoenix whispered to Jones before he addressed the squad as a whole again. “Let’s go, boys, come on!” Phoenix was filling with pride as he saw all the fight that his men still had left in them. “Let’s give those Nazi b*****s Hell!” The men threw up a single harmonious cheer, which shook the frame of the half-blown building that they had been using for cover this whole time. “And boys,” Phoenix started to add. “After we give them hell, we’re going to march up to Hitler himself and give him what he’s been giving.”





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