From Chapter 3
The red and pallor of the dead and dying forever stained his conscience. He wasn’t quite sure what to make of it all. Twisted and broken bodies were arranged, like an exposed cemetery, in neat rows awaiting attention from mortuary crews. The wounded lay in pain, some moaning, others just barely breathing, silenced no doubt by morphine. Makeshift lanes for the push inland were formed on the beach by piles of broken and twisted metal that had once formed the barricades meant to stop them. Above, overlooking the beach, concrete reinforced pillboxes and redoubts lay silent, peppered with craters and holes like Swiss cheese. Some of the burned Kraut dead were still visible, lying where they had fallen. Deafening naval artillery continually screeched overhead, smashing targets – mostly homes or businesses that had been usurped by the enemy as makeshift defenses. Rain fell gently, as if to erase the unsightly horror of yesterday, D-Day. Yet, the moral shock he suffered left a permanent trauma forever scarring his soul.

As Joe’s unit rounded the summit and passed a small clearing, he turned and saw Daffy looking back out to sea and beyond, mesmerized. “It looks like ya could hop from one boat to another all the way back to England,” Joe said in a slow, matter-of-fact way, smoothed by his Texas draw. Ships were nearly stacked atop each other from shore to as far as the rain would permit vision.
“Yep,” Daffy replied, still in shock, still in awe.

In the nearly seven months Joe had known Daffy, he had never seen him so quiet for so long.

Joe returned to the long file of soldiers moving inland. During the march, he recalled one of the first lessons his dad had taught him about chess strategy. Good opening moves and piece development should always be followed by one thing – Attack! If you have an advantage in developing power pieces and fail to attack, you are certainly going to see your advantage disappear.

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