Newbie Was Here

When we came into the storage yard, Sergeant Bitterroot told everyone to hit the shade.

Sweetpea—the only nickname I’d caught—said, Seriously, Sarge?

It’s how we roll, Sergeant Bitterroot said.

A group huzzah, followed by a few guys calling out, You’re the bomb!

I’m down with that, Sarge, I thought, though of course as a replacement I hadn’t earned the right to say so yet. Still, I dropped my pack with the others and was about to express my appreciation, when Bitterroot singled me out.

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