What follows is offered in response to Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge. The word is "Swagger".
They were First Squad, First Platoon, Charlie Company. They were young, green and freshly bloodied. They had walked into an ambush in an area that was supposed safe and lost half their number killed or wounded. They slowly filed in, through the wire, weapons held by barrels over the shoulder or by the sling, like a suitcase. Their vacant stares told their story louder and more clearly than any voice might. They had run right smack into the horror of War and their elan, their swagger, lay in the rice paddies where their comrades died. They would never have that again.
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