Taz and Kodak

by Rick Beck

Chapter 9

The Wait

Sgt. Jacoby went to headquarters the first thing next morning. 1st squad was officially under strength and would stay in camp to guard the perimeter. His request to be sent to look for Taz & Kodak was declined. He was dismissed by his captain, and the mess tent caught his eye as he contemplated what to do next to recover his guys. The longer they waited the less likely it was they would find anything.

The mess tent was nearly empty when he went for breakfast. The entire camp was empty, which he'd never seen before. There were always soldiers eating all day. The quiet was eerie to Jacoby.

"Hey, Sarge, what about we go into the airfield and notify Kodak's people he's MIA?"

"That's the best idea I've had all day, Washington. I'll get Temple to set up the rotation for guard duty and you and Hale can come with me. Make sure your weapons are loaded and your equipment is squared away. They've got enough guards stationed along that road to hold off a division. They must know something we don't."

It took an hour and a half to get a jeep, and Hale and Washington sat in the back with their M-16s propped up on their thighs as they were passed through three different checkpoints. The jeep stopped right in front of the journalists' shop and Sgt. Jacoby stepped inside with his two bodyguards.

"What can I do for you today, Sarge? You looking to find out something about this here war?"

"Not exactly," Sgt. Jacoby shot back. "I lost one of your guys. I figured his people ought to know."

"Lost as in you got the boy killed?"

"Lost as in, we don't know where the hell he is. It's a long story. He sends pictures back to the States. Hey, Washington, what paper?"

"It's in Sacramento. I don't know the name. Tall, thin redheaded boy. We call him Kodak."

"Paul," Hale said. "His first name is Paul. I forgot his last name."

"His name is Paul," Sgt. Jacoby repeated.

"Yeah, I heard. I know the guy you're talking about. I'll need to look for his file to get a contact point on him."

"Paul Anderson," said a chubby middle aged man, sitting at the long table in the center of the office that stood in front of the credentials counter."

"Yeah," Hale said. "That's it. Anderson."

"You've lost Paul Anderson," the middle age man repeated.

"Yeah, what's it to you?" Jacoby asked without being impressed.

The middle age man handed over a copy of the Army Times as Hale and Washington walked to retrieve it.

"That's Taz," Washington said with some shock. "That's the guy Kodak's lost with."

"I'll be damn," Hale said. "Front page picture of Taz on the front of the Army Times. Photo by Paul Anderson."

"You lost both of them. That's bad damn timing on your part. This picture is all over the wire services. Someone is going to want to know you've lost the army's latest centerfold."

"I'll be a son-of-a-bitch," Jacoby swore. "When the hell did he take this? Makes Taz look ten feet tall. Makes that rifle look longer than that. How did he get a shot looking straight up at Taz?"

"I've never seen it before," Washington said. "Kodak's been holding out on us. Why didn't he say something about this?"

"Before you spend a lot of time calling his paper, you better call Westmorland and tell him you've misplaced his latest hero," the sergeant behind the counter said, slapping the phone down next to Jacoby's arm. "He gets nothing but bad news so this will be a piece of cake."

"You got his number?" Jacoby asked.

"Yeah, dial 1. No, I don't have his number. You better call someone. Is anyone doing anything to recover these guys?"

"No, they won't let me go after them. We were ambushed. They got separated from us. Our chopper crashed. It took us most of the day to get back to the base. My captain said no rescue mission."

"Damn, you got a movie script going here. Lost hero, crash chopper, cranky officers. I might want a shot at the script,'" the middle aged man at the correspondent's table said.

"I don't talk to general officers. I'm strictly a chain of command man. That's how I keep my stripes. You better do the calling. He's one of your guys and he took that picture. It makes him about as famous as Taz the way I see it," Jacoby said.

"Award winning photographer lost in the Vietnamese jungles, surrounded by the Viet Cong, hungry, thirsty, and without hope," the correspondent recounted it as he saw it. "It's got everything."

Jacoby glared at the mouthy middle-aged man. The drama wasn't necessary.

"I wouldn't want to be you, Sarge. I'd go find them boys PDQ. My paper is running this on the magazine section this weekend and I hear it is going on the Parade Magazine. In that case it'll be in the Washington Post and probably most of the biggest papers will want it. You really want to find these boys if you can, or you're going to have to get used to the rank of private."

The counter man dealt Jacoby, Hale, and Washington each a copy of the Army Times from under the counter. They read the accompanying story as was credited to Kodak's editor.

The phone rang and the counterman picked it up.

"Sgt. Carter. What's your pleasure?" he answered. "Just a minute. Peacock."

"Yeah, Peabody here. Never mind that. I got a scoop. Stop the presses and get it on the front page. Has the soldier's picture gone on the cover of the Sunday magazine yet?" Peacock asked. "Well, put under it the caption, 'have you seen this man? MIA'. No it ain't no joke. I got the guy that lost him standing next to me right now. He's lost out in the jungle with the guy that took the picture. Yeah, what are the odds?

"Hey, Sarge, how'd you lose him? Here, I've got my editor on the phone. I'm with the Times. Tell him what happened so we can get it right from the horse's mouth. Here Sarge, talk to him."

Jacoby didn't like the idea of being a horse or being quoted, but he figured it might be the way to get a rescue mission in the bush fast.

"Yes, sir. Sgt. Jacoby. We were ambushed while on a mission. They got separated from our squad. I can't tell you anymore. Someone is going to want a report on this now and they won't want to read it on the front of the Times. They're lost and I can't get permission to go find them. Here's your man."

"So what did happen, Sarge," the counterman asked.

"We landed and ended up right in the middle of an enemy ambush. Taz held them off long enough for the helicopter to get back into the air. We crashed ten clicks away. Taz and Kodak weren't able to get back into the helicopter and stayed in the original LZ. If it hadn't been for him, my squad would have been wiped out. He saved our bacon and they won't let me go get him."

"Got that?" Peabody said, after holding the phone up so his editor heard everything Sgt. Jacoby said.

"You list it as an anonymous source. You put my name on it and I'll wait in the tall grass for your ass, Peabody," Sgt. Jacoby said.

"Yeah, and if you don't write it that way, Peabody, I got a feeling you'll never get another call through to the States," the counterman said.

"No problem. Good as done. You put him in for a medal, Sarge?" Peabody asked.

"I haven't but I will. I want to get him back first."

"Damn, that'll get the ball moving. I'll tell them. Get that on the front page. I'll keep you up to date. I'm going to their camp later today," Peabody said, hanging up the phone. "Cancel your call to Westmoreland. My editor is calling the owner of the paper. He knows the President. He'll ask him to call the White House to inform them."

"I'm impressed," the counterman said. "In that case we'll let the general sleep in."

"Yeah, well, it seems Taz is the talk of the town and he wants him and Kodak brought back alive. He figured the White House might like to know his photograph is going around the world by tomorrow and they aren't going to want to hear the report he was MIA and no one did anything about it."

"The President is going to end up hearing about this?" Washington blurted. "Wait until Taz hears about this. Damn if he ain't going to be famous."

"You're going to be famous too, Sarge," the counterman said. "I wouldn't want to be in your shoes. You better give a heads up to your CO. You don't want him caught short when the President calls to ask what the hell he is doing."

"Well, I got Taz and Kodak to worry about. I'll worry about my ass once they're safe. You got a few extra copies of this? I'll want to make sure headquarters gets a copy."

The counterman plopped down a stack of the papers and Jacoby tucked them under his arm as they headed back to camp.

"How long have we been walking?" Kodak asked.

"I don't know. A day, two days, it's dark and we've been walking a long time. We need to get off the trail and get some sleep. No point in pushing our bodies too hard."

"How much water is in your canteen?"

"It's half full," Taz said, flipping up the flap that kept it linked to his belt and he shook the canteen. "See, half full."

"Are you going to drink?"

"Yeah, you go first two or three swallows. This has to last us."

They both drank, moving away from the trail they'd been following. Taz used his bayonet to cut branches filled with the most leaves, arranging them behind some fallen trees to hide their position from the trail. It was late afternoon but the jungle blocked out the light from the overcast sky. They were both exhausted.

"The jerky is gone. We can look for some roots and berries," Taz said.

"Do you know which can be eaten and which are poison?" Kodak asked.

"No, but if one gives me a belly ache I won't eat that one again," Taz explained.

"If it kills you?"

"I won't eat it again."

"I'll pass, thank you. That last piece of jerky is still a knot in my stomach. I've been thinking of going on a diet."

"A good wind would blow you away, Kodak."

"Yeah, but we haven't had much wind and I'll eat if it starts blowing."

The meaningless banter continued until both men dozed off. They slept soundly and without interruption. Neither had any sense of what time or what day it was.

"Let's go," Taz said, standing over Kodak.

It seemed like he'd just closed his eyes but the daylight in the treetops behind Taz told Kodak that it was morning. He stood and stretched, feeling stiff and out of sorts.

Kodak took the canteen when it was offered to him and he sipped two quick sips. He wanted more but he could tell by the feel by the weight the contents were slowly disappearing.

Taz took a quick sip, securing it back to his belt. Moving around the obstacles, they met up with the trail once again. Taz stood and listened before heading back in the direction he thought was taking them southwest, but the trail was like a snake.

Each mile seemed like the last and the idea they were making progress didn't occur to them. They continued onward at the same modest pace with Taz stopping often to listen. Each time the trails split, Taz took a long time deciding which would keep them moving in the right direction before moving on. The jungle grown in close to the trial and they hoped it didn't hold them in a death grip.

The lieutenant stood at the tent flaps to call inside, "Sgt. Jacoby, front and center."

"He's checking the sentry stations," Temple said, walking cautiously toward the officer.

"You are?"

"Corporal Temple, sir," he offered while still curious.

"I don't aim to spend my morning looking for your sergeant, Corporal. You go find him and tell him to come to the headquarters and make it fast. The old man is sitting on a burr and your sergeant needs to pull it out of his ass. You got that?"

"Yes, sir," Temple said, never being all that impressed by 1st lieutenants. "We going after them?"

"I'd guess you are but what do I know?"

Lacing up his boots and getting his uniform straight before he ventured out, Temple sensed trouble was on the horizon and he wasn't giving anyone a free shot at him. He carried his M-16 and headed in the direction where Sgt. Jacoby had disappeared.

"A lieutenant from headquarters came to get you. The commander is a bit off his game and seems to think you're the guy to fix his swing."

"Yeah, he didn't want to talk to me earlier, so I made sure they took him a copy of the Army Times. I've been expecting a call," Sgt. Jacoby said, brushing his uniform in a quick dust-off before straightening his shirt and hitching up his trousers to make a favorable appearance to get his ass chewed off for stepping over top of his commander's head.

"Anything I should do?" Temple asked, as second in command of 1st squad.

"Get the guys ready to go out. Ammunition, grenades, and grab what's left of the jerky and stash it in my pack. Get the guys to top off their tanks at the mess tent. It's getting late and we might be out over night if what's happening is what I think is happening."

"Taz's picture worked wonders. I hope it isn't too late."

"Yeah, a powerful persuader. All I did was speed up the process. Taz must have been born with a golden horseshoe up his ass. The entire world will know he is missing by tomorrow. I still don't know what got into Kodak to have him jump out of the helicopter like that."

Temple smiled politely and shook his head saying, "Now if we can get them back alive the story will have a happy ending. Taz'll get a heroes welcome and we'll live to fight another day."

"You should be a writer, Corporal Temple. I can only hope we can bring them back and not be left with a mystery about what happened to them."

"Sarge, just remember, we could have all died in that helicopter crash. We didn't. We're destined to go bring 'em back alive. You can't write it any other way."

"You are one damn optimist so and so, Temple. I hope to hell you're onto something there. Make sure the guys eat."

As Sgt. Jacoby stepped into the headquarters building, the corporal behind the desk pointed at the door marked C.O. The captain from the day before followed Jacoby with his eyes, as he knocked on the door twice and stepped inside.

The Colonel looked up from the papers on his desk and made Sgt. Jacoby wait for him to say what he had to say to him.

"I've just had a message forwarded to me from Command Headquarters. You may know Gen. Westmoreland. I don't. The message was sent to him from the Military Officer at the White House. I don't suppose since your conversation with my captain, you've had cause to talk to the President?"

"No, sir," Sgt. Jacoby said, staying at attention.

"Did we per chance do a little officer shopping to get your way, Sergeant? You don't know how much I hate sergeants who reach too far. Tell me this doesn't have your fingerprints all over it?"

"It was not intentional, sir. It was a series of events that, once set in motion, couldn't be controlled," Sgt. Jacoby said in his most reverent voice, reserved for when he was in deep shit.

"Why don't you let me be the judge of that? What was set in motion, Sergeant?" the colonel leaned back in his chair in anticipation of a long and convoluted answer.

"Paul Anderson, a photographer, who has been going out with my squad is missing with private Tazerski. I went into the base to see to it his people were notified. During my visit to the credentials unit for journalists, I was made aware that the missing private's photo is on the front page of the Army Times."

"You're telling me that this missing private is featured in the Army Times? The captain brought me the paper but I didn't make the connection with your missing men."

"It's a bit more complicated than that. The picture was taken by the missing photo-journalist, Paul Anderson…, sir," Jacoby said as he caught the officer cringing. "We call him Kodak."

The colonel leaned forward and ran his fingers through his thin graying hair. Stunned by the news he wasn't ready with a quick comment. He leaned back in his chair again after a few minutes.

"They think this is important enough to send the new company at the airfield out here to search for them. You, Sgt. Jacoby, are going to lead a rescue mission for these men. You'll meet with the visiting sergeants in my outer office at 3 p.m. this afternoon. You'll formulate a plan according to where you last saw the missing duo and you'll proceed to return to that area to retrieve them. Your transportation is waiting for orders," the colonel paused as he ran the plan through his brain.

"Heaven help you if you don't come up with two walking talking American males who can pass for these two. They will then be returned to the States to go on a press tour to tell a soldier's tale about this nation's struggle against communism, deep in the jungles of Vietnam. If you don't bring them back safe and alive, guess who'll be standing in front of those damn cameras out there to explain why the hell you left them out there in the first place?

"Why didn't you clue the captain in on what was going on? Is that too much of a reach? I got my ass hanging out here and you can bet if I get mine shaved off, you're going to live to regret it. Is it all coming clear to you, Sgt Jacoby?"

"Yes, sir. The captain made it clear he didn't want me bothering you with this. I merely complied with his orders…, sir. No one knew about the picture, until I went in to report Kodak missing. It's one of those things no one could foresee. It is a game changer however."

The threat was intended and the colonel knew his ass alone would suffer the consequences as Sgt. Jacoby had covered his ass nicely. Facts were a difficult thing to refute and he would need to go further up the food chain to come up with a scapegoat.

"You're dismissed. Send my captain in here. Don't forget, at 3 p.m. the sergeants from the squads that will be aiding in the search will be in my outer office for a briefing. There's no doubt that some officers will be dropping by to check on the progress. You should develop a comprehensive plan that will cover any and all contingencies. If you can pull this off, sergeant, I'll be ever grateful. This story is moving faster than the astronauts."

"Excuse me, sir. One more thing you should be aware of."

"Go ahead. I'm all aflutter."

"I've put the private in for the Bronze Star for valor. He saved 1st squad's bacon in that LZ. Paperwork like that gets shuffled around at times and I wanted to let you know so that if someone asks you about his medal, you won't get surprised again, sir."

"Thank you, sergeant. I'll expedite it under the circumstances. I'll want to pin that medal on your private as quick as we can get him safely back to camp. If this soldier is so important why is he still a private?"

"Well, sir, he's a bit of misfit, but in battle, I'd want him at my elbow before any five men I've come across in this man's army…, sir."

"Oh Great! Dismissed, sergeant. A misfit on the front of the Army Times," the colonel muttered as Jacoby smiled at the predictable response.

Sgt. Jacoby executed his sharpest about-face and headed for the door, proud of how he got the medal on the top of the commander's list of things to do. His first concern was getting the two guys back but he didn't want a meeting with the colonel to go to waste.

At 3 p.m. Sgt. Jacoby met with the four sergeants from the visiting company. The three other sergeants who patrolled with Sgt. Jacoby asked to come along to expedite the briefing and to offer advice about the area and the mission.

It took five minutes to decide the visiting sergeants could furnish the manpower for routine patrol with far less risk than being in unfamiliar territory on a rescue mission. The squads most familiar with the area, as well as the men they were searching for, were far more motivated, and willing to put themselves in harm's way to gain a satisfactory outcome.

Everyone agreed.

It was 5 p.m. by the time the complete plan to search the area in question was complete. Even with helicopters being on call, they couldn't be on the ground in the search zone before evening shadows would be claiming the bush. The mission was scheduled for first light the following day.

It was the third day and the jungle was not a place where you wanted to be wandering around alone without food or water and on the morning of the third day it rained. It wasn't your casual showers in the area but an all day deluge. The choppers remained on the ground and the rescue mission went on hold.

It was too early for the rainy season to begin but the rain complicated an already difficult mission. No one questioned the decision to wait. It would be far easier to go out without the weather being against the search party. Everyone kept their eye on the sky. The chopper pilots waited impatiently at base for a go order.

"You okay?" Taz asked, as he looked back at Kodak who wore a palm leaf on his head to help divert the rain from drenching him and making him even more miserable.

"I'm hungry?" Kodak admitted in a forlorn revelation.

"We'll find something to eat today," Taz supposed.

"You said that yesterday."

Kodak was drenched in the first few minutes and gave up the headgear. He was hungry, wet, cold, and thirsty. He couldn't recall ever being this miserable before, and they were lost to boot.

Taz knew they weren't making much progress and the likelihood they'd walk dead on into the enemy in low visibility and in their weakened condition was better than even. He moved off under the jungle canopy to get them out of the elements once he found a good spot.

The first clump of fallen trees gave him what he was looking for. Taz cut leaves to fashion in a shelter to keep them out of the rain. He walked back to the trail to make certain the shelter blended in with the fallen trees and undergrowth. It was more open then he liked but the shelter was well disguised. He was too exhausted to go further.

Once they were inside, Taz took out his canteen and they drank it dry. He set up a refilling system using a big leaf to provide a continual trickle into the container. Separating the cup from the canteen, he set the cup under a more rapidly flowing supply of fresh water. At least the downpour served one vital purpose.

The rugged shelter worked surprisingly well, and Taz and Kodak slept to the sound of the trickling rain on the leaves above them. They were exhausted after no food and with an ever dwindling water supply.

Kodak's stomach growled and Taz dreamed of cold fresh beer on tap. They periodically emptied the fast filling cup, hydrating themselves between periods of sleep. When one drank the other woke up to take his share of water.

"It's a lot like showering together," Taz said, after he'd lain back down.

"Yeah, a lot like that," Kodak said.

"Except for you not putting your arms around me. I think I like that part of it best."

Kodak didn't need to be told twice. He rolled over to wrap his arms around Taz. They slept soundly after that.

Sgt. Jacoby stood with his arms stretched into the upper reaches of the tent, staring out of 1st squad's quarters at the rain that was thwarting the rescue mission. His stomach was upset and even the pleasant cool day did nothing to ease his stress.

The longer Taz and Kodak were out there the more danger they were in. Sooner or later they would run into Charlie or Charlie would run into them. Either way was disaster for them and for him.

He allowed the helicopter to take off without them and their fate was on his conscience. The pilot was the ranking officer and he had taken responsibility to save as many soldiers as he could at the detriment of the two who were left behind. It was a sound decision but nonetheless troubling for Jacoby. The delay was agonizing.

1st squad used the comfortable temps to stay in their bunks and get as much rest as possible before they went into the bush. All of 1st squad was worried about their comrades, but there was no point in worrying about the weather.

By mid-afternoon the reporters started to show up, led by the middle-aged Peabody, the journalist at the credentials unit from the beginning of the second day. He'd claimed credit for making the missing soldier alert that attracted all the reporters in the vicinity to Jacoby's company compound.

He watched one jeep and then two more, and two more followed in a period of fifteen minutes. The canvas tops were fixed in place to keep the journalists dry, but the puddles and the mud didn't have much respect for anyone riding in jeeps.

By the time his soldiers were about ready to eat there were a dozen journalists with a half dozen photographers, both for still pictures and motion pictures in camp. They'd been directed to a corner of the mess tent, where they could fill up on coffee and good ole army chow, while getting the story.

Sgt. Jacoby walked up to the mess tent with the first group of his men to get something in his belly, thinking it might tamp down his stomach miseries. The idea the war was giving him ulcers crossed his mind, and if the war wasn't the reporters sure as hell were.

There were interviews for all of 1st squad's soldiers. They photographed Taz's and Kodak's bunks. The reporters scrawled their notes of despair haunting the readers with the doubts about them ever coming home to sleep in their bunks again, and now even the weather had turned against them.

The entire compound was turned into a traveling circus and it all was filmed by motion picture cameras. While still at the mess tent, trying to ignore the invasion, officers from both the ARVN, Vietnamese army, and the US command began their tour of the company, which the lost and heroic soldier had inhabited.

Both in plain English and in the Vietnamese version of English could be heard expressing optimism, once the weather broke and the helicopters were cleared to begin the mission. These were officers that had everything under control, although none had sought out Sgt. Jacoby or even glanced at him, much to his relief. They actually kept the press occupied.

He was relatively anonymous as Hale and Washington exaggerated stories about Taz, the fighting machine of 1st squad. It was Peabody that first saw Jacoby in the corner, eating with some of his soldiers, and where Peabody went, everyone else followed.

First the other reporters, then flash bulbs flashed, and cameras clicked as microphones appeared like six shooters unholstered and stuck in his face. He longed for his M-16 but had wisely left it back in quarters.

"Sgt. Jacoby will lead the mission to rescue his soldier as soon as the weather breaks," Peabody announced to the semi-circle of dignitaries and reporters. "Tell us your plan, sergeant."

"The plan is to go out and get them. There's nothing else to say. We're waiting on transportation. Once it's cleared to fly, we'll be out there searching for them."

There were more questions, and cameras came from nowhere to take photos of his face. He decided it was time to get back to 1st squad's quarters. Once he hit the rain the many visitors lost interest in him.

They didn't need Sgt. Jacoby. They got stories galore from 2nd squad, 3rd squad, and 4th squad, once 1st squad lost interest in the turmoil. Everyone told of Taz, the lean mean fighting machine. His legend surpassed his deeds many times over. The bigger the tale the happier the reporters became and the young soldiers are more than happy to co-operate.

Taz had captured a company of Viet Cong on his own after lunch one afternoon. He'd taken an enemy headquarters with his B.A.R., blasting Charlie to kingdom come. He'd shot down a non-existent North Vietnamese Air Force, and he'd broken a siege at a firebase by just showing up with his big rifle.

It was more than any reporter could wish for. Rumors became fact. Even the reporters became invested in seeing this hero brought back alive. They even remembered that one of their own was out there, but they didn't seem to be all that invested in just another journalist, when heroic stories abounded.

Besides, Kodak was with Taz, how much danger could he be in? Taz was likely to show up any time with Kodak at his side and the entire North Vietnamese Army in front of him, having surrendered from the mere mention of his name.

It didn't take long for the soldiers to lose interest in advancing Taz's legend in an effort to find out just how much the reporters would swallow, sensing they'd bite on anything. Being in a war zone had never been more fun for the soldiers.

Everyone wanted Taz and Kodak back in camp right now. Their images had traveled around the world, which brought chaos into that section of the war zone, along with any reporter in the theater.

"Who was responsible? Why were they left behind? What were you thinking? How long would it have taken to let them back on-board?"

This was classic 1st squad material. Taz held off a Vietnamese division as the wounded bird struggled to get 1st squad back to safety, crashing on the return trip. Only Taz came between certain disaster and the survival of his squad, sacrificing himself to save his buddies.

It was awesome. Jeeps tried to sneak away to get back to the base to file their stories before someone else beat them to it. First one jeep and then two more before the rest came speeding past 1st squad's quarters, turning on two wheels as reporters waved twenty dollar bills in the faces of the aspiring future Grand National race car drivers.

The addition of the chaos to Sgt. Jacoby's self-imposed pressure made the invasion an overwhelming intrusion into a perfectly normal war zone. He paced the back of the tent and gave orders that no more reporters were allowed past the front flaps. They could stand out in the rain and ask their silly questions if their concern was so great.

The later arrivals made the same inquiries. Who was in charge? Who left them behind? What was their problem? Were heads going to roll? Who, what, where, why, when? It had become non-stop and even 1st squad tired of the simple minded inquiries. Didn't they read the papers? Everyone had the story and a whole lot more.

It was like the locust had settled into camp, and being trapped with them in the rain made it even worse. They did nothing but add to the desperation of the situation.

Sgt. Jacoby sent Washington for the area weather forecast over the next forty-eight hours and, while he was out, he had him stop at the mess tent to bring back some meat and bread so they could have sandwiches without the risk of getting cornered in the mess tent again.

The first horde of reporters was gone but the second wave started arriving. The sound of the jeeps made it obvious that achieving peace and quiet was out of the question.

The other members of 1st squad had no such aversion to the press. They were going to get their fifteen minutes of fame if they could, and what more could they ask than to have their name appear in their local papers as someone who contributed to the legend of the missing men.

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