The sun is not yet fully above the horizon, casting everything in an ethereal bronze glaze. Crystal droplets of water cling to delicate green leaves like diamonds on the wrists of tiny princesses. Silence imbues every cell of everything within the bounds of this embattled valley. It sits heavy but it is a welcome heaviness.
As I sit here, I watch the enemy creeping up a small rise across the plain between us. They have been trying to take the valley for the better part of the last week. The last five days our small unit has kept them at bay. Another sunrise and another small victory but I know they will return tonight and there will be another battle.
Our unit is currently under strength and made up of an eclectic assortment of soldiers. Our commander was called to another front. He won't return in time for the coming struggle and hasn't been here for any of the previous. The two newest privates are young, inexperienced and untrained and therefore not much help. Their presence does give the rest of us comfort though and helps focus the rest of the troops as we see to their training. We are also down one soldier. She was promoted and moved to another field. We picked up a wounded officer from our company who had been with another unit and left behind during a stealth mission. She does her best to assist the rest of us but her injuries are too severe for much. This has left the most experienced among us pulling extra duty to try to fill in the gaps. We are all exhausted and in need of a good sleep. If only we could claim victory this night.
The enemy is insanely numerous. We have killed hundreds and they just keep coming. From my vantage point they appear to be well trained and function as an efficient machine. They move boldly in the open but use stratagem and hidden paths as well. They scatter briefly under fire, but regroup quickly and move forward until we have picked the whole group off. Even when we think we have gotten rid of them all, we find reinforcements have been sent and we are facing another group almost as numerous. We live in daily fear that they will get around us and surround us completely. To this point we have had the advantage only in our position, our intelligence and our superior weapons. If we don't get some rest and come up with a more successful strategy, we won't have the advantage for long. They out number us like the stars outnumber the moon.
Communications went down last month. We have managed to get them up again for now at least. Here is hoping that we will soon be able to finish this series of skirmishes successfully. I have the feeling this will be a long war. I pray that our unit will have the strength to finish with honor and that as their current leader I will have the wisdom, strength and inspiration to lead them to victory.
This post is the musings of deaing with ants as the wife of a National Guard NCO who is gone for Annual Training, a mother of adult -small children and a daughter of a mother who wants to help.