The junior Marines sat cross-legged on the ship’s deck. Wind was light and the sky was a serene cerulean. NCOs, SNCOs and officers stood at parade rest. Lieutenant Colonel Rosalyn Carr addressed them all. She boasted light features and straight, ivory white teeth. Her cammies appeared pressed and her silver oak leaf insignia glittered like platinum nuggets in the light.
SAPI plates and rucksacks and knee pads and rifles and more gear that kept these warriors in step pervaded the vehicle. As Christmas neared in this far off land away from home in America, these men traversed the unyielding elements. The sixty degree weather remained welcoming, though. For all of the scorching summers with heat that would make Lucifer blush, the infantrymen of this Marine Division all focused on the main objective: ensure that cement trucks full of contractors reached a school zone.
This December morning brought iciness. This East Coast United States Marine Corps base provided a haven for improvement. Around the barracks, the Marines had decorated their living spaces with lights and wreaths. Still, with all of the wonderful adornments, there remained some untidy places around the base. One such area was the parking lot to the chow hall. As he wore a grayish-tan jacket with two stars tacked to his each of shoulders, Major General Jaysuvius Gambon, command general of this particular Division, bent down and picked up a water bottle employed for discarding used dip, a boot band, three cigarettes, two receipts, and four energy drink cans.
American pith helmets cropped up as the various branches of the United States military vied for top position on the sniper rifle range. A chill enveloped the crowd of service-members on this late autumn day in December. The main draw of the entire proceedings remained Sergeant Kinyetta “Down Range” Barkin. She was a 5’5” goddess with a gun. She boasted soft features and long hair that her donut bun belied. Her skin was the color of black diamonds and pearls and she possessed a shapely figure that her cammies also hid.
Corporal Jaimie Vincent’s arrival to the barracks received no fanfare. No troops rallied around the young man. He didn’t accept any beer and cake for his effort. It was all business. Vincent remained squared away; from his haircut to his boot laces (left over right) he projected his new role. Once an Army soldier, he now walked in the light of the United States Marine Corps. He first checked in with his Service Alpha uniform that boasted a few pieces of chest candy tacked to his left breast. As he stood at the position of attention, in front of Master Sergeant George Glaxon. Vincent stared at the achievements on the wall. His palms laid tight in soft fists against his trouser seams and seemed as if he clutched tiny, smooth stones.
Exhaust from the pipes of the SUV funneled upward. Sand blanketed the land. The driver, Sergeant Avery Amos, looked at his front passenger, Sergeant Venus Fiore, and exchanged glances as Lance Corporals Edwin Black and Cate McGuinness looked down at their phones.