Brothers at War - Part 4

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Chapter 10:

Thursday, 5th January 2017

It wasn't long until the long and torturous days turned into 2 weeks, and then another week as drill after drill robbed the men from their energy and soul. By this time Chase had written 6 letters to Hailey, telling her how much he loved her and how much he missed her and Amelia. He told her about the exercises and training they did, how they had begun 'un-armed combat training' as well as map reading and land navigation. How the physical challenges had become harder and had required more energy than ever, he explained how his platoon had become like brothers to him and he had seen Ger with a set of abs for the first time.

After everyday, after a meal that hardly fed his hunger, Chase, along with the rest of his platoon fell into his barracks with nothing left. It was only when Sergeant Aisfifth came towards him handing him letters from Hailey that gave him energy again. Hailey had replied to all his letters and told him everything that he was missing at home. Chase received her 4th letter on the 6th of January and sat up in his bunk and held the paper envelope between his fingers. Looking at the neat handwriting perfectly spelling out his name, his platoon and then the UNITED STATES ARAZONA ARMY BASE in large capitals.

While he had been away he had thought about things that had never mattered at home, while he held that envelope he had wondered where in the house she had written it, how she had had her hair that day and if she had worn that green shirt that she knew he loved on her. He had never thought about the small things when he had been home, but now, distant from her, it all seemed like it was what he missed the most. The little things that made her her.

In Hailey's long and descriptive letters she had told him how Amelia had learned the words 'stupid dog' after Rusty had trapped mud all through the house after a walk. Hailey then said how it had sounded more like 'upid dog' while Amelia yelled it while stumbling after Rusty in only her diaper. Chase had laughed imagining his energetic little daughter shouting the words, though he had felt incredibly sad that hadn't been there to see it himself and to have laughed with Hailey. Not days later by himself.

Hailey had mentioned that Claire had come over a lot crying not only because she missed Gerard and because of the thought of their baby wouldn't know its father for the first 3 months of its life but because of the many times Claire had had morning sickness.

During the physical challenges the next day Chase and Gerard had raced each other over the obstacles, extreme heights, rope ladders and bridges, Smiling as sweat dripped off their foreheads. They had smiled and joked through the entire exercise while still trying their hardest to beat each other, they had chosen to take a positive outlook on being in the army and as a result the rest of the platoon had become more relaxed as well. For Chase and Gerard the army certainly felt like they were the class-clowns of high school again, the Sergeants and Generals being the teachers and the army protocol being the rules that were made to be broken. Chase and Ger had been punished by Sergeant Aisfifth many times in the two weeks they had spent in basic training and their punishments had included kitchen duty, rations, sleeping outside, all night runs and cleaning the floor with a tooth brush. All of which they had joked and made fun somehow just as they had in high school detentions.

Chase had been only a few feet in front of Ger when they had hit the 50 foot wall they had to rock climb and Ger was gaining on him fast. He quickly hooked himself into the harness and gripped the rock and began to climb. As he got higher and higher he smirked down at Ger who was only just fastening his harness, Chase picked up the pace knowing that Sergeant Aisfifth was waiting at the top.

As Chase got to the middle of the wall his fingers caught onto a sharp rock that instantly pierced the palm of his hand. He desperately tried to tighten his grip with his un-injured hand

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