Dear Mom and Dad, You’re probably looking at the address on this letter and wondering, “What is Johnny doing back in Belgium?” Well, you’re not going to believe it. I got stop-lossed and am now on my second tour in the war against fascism! What a bunch of hooey!
The bullet I took in the buttocks in Bourgogne last year hasn’t even healed yet, so I have to sit on one of those inflatable donuts whenever I ride in a jeep or truck. You wouldn’t believe what the guys have to say about that!
I’m back with my team and we’re kicking ass all over the European continent, and beyond. So far we’ve been to Belgium and the Netherlands, into Germany, and we even had a few missions in Egypt against Rommel’s tank divisions. Boy do those tankers have it easy! I know I’m not trained as a tank operator, but I sure gave it to those Krauts! I destroyed an entire tank division by myself and that was when I could barely reach the tank’s pedals because of the doggone donut.
Killing Germans can get pretty monotonous, but our killing has covered a wide variety of terrain in this tour. Still, we’re mostly running through bombed out towns, clearing houses one by one. This tour, my new Sarge lets us clear the houses in any order; he’s much better than the hard-ass that always forced us to do everything in a particular order—no wonder he got fragged!
Aside from this small change in SOP (that’s standard operating procedure), the combat is just like my last tour. The Germans just don’t have many surprises left. I guess someone finally invented a smoke grenade that Uncle Sam can afford, so we get to use those on the battlefield now. They come in real handy when trying to flank a blazing MG42.
Probably the biggest difference this time around is how much more intense everything feels and sounds while we’re “in the sh*t,” so to speak (sorry, Mom, but that’s how we talk here). Once the first round is fired, all hell breaks loose. Now, I know I said that about my first tour, but I really mean it this time. Once the shooting starts everything around us erupts. We’re screaming at the Krauts, the Krauts are screaming at us, people are getting torn limb from limb and screaming about that, and there are explosions going off all around us and gunfire rattling in our ears. It’s enough to make a grown man soil his skivvies.
So like I said, Mom and Dad, this tour is a lot like the first one, but this time the action seems extreme. Sure, once in a while we’re doing boring missions, and it gets tiring continually clearing houses (and why do all the houses have the exact same interiors?), but luckily there’s enough “new” stuff for our squad to do on this tour to make it fun. That said, I can’t wait to come home. I won’t be re-enlisting, that’s for sure. I figure if they try to stop-loss me again I’ll just ask my CO to the next USO ball.
—Johnny “Josh Norem” Johnson
Month Reviewed: January 2006
+ C-RATIONS Visceral combat, decent visuals, nonstop action, and ragdoll physics.
- C-SECTIONS Not a lot of variety in missions; too much like CoD1.