Over there, again

“Down the gangplanks they tromped, names checked from a clipboard, each soldier wearing his helmet, his field jacket, and a large celluloid button color-coded by the section of the ship to which he had been confined during the passage. Troops carried four blankets apiece to save cargo space, while deluded officers could be seen lugging folding chairs, pillow-cases, and tennis rackets. A brass band and Highland Pipers greeted them on the dock; Scottish children raised their arms in a V for Victory. Combat pilots who had fulfilled their mission quotas, and were waiting to board ship for the return voyage, bellowed, ‘Go back before it’s too late!’ or ‘What’s your wife’s telephone number?’ ” – Rick Atkinson, The Guns at Last Light

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