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The CAB Hunters


by Paul David Adkins
 
 The commander rotated fresh lieutenants
 to a rocket-magnet FOB
 to get their feet wet.
 
 There, they earned
 their Combat Action Badges.
 Incoming rounds impacted
 one thousand meters outside
 the sand-bagged perimeter.
 
 He retrieved his officers
 from the bush the next week,
 a little singed.
 
 Napoleon claimed,
     I could conquer
     the world
 
 The commander decided the risk 
 was low
 though he lost one soldier to
 “a lucky shot.”
 
 She received a Purple Heart,
 Bronze Star Medal,
 spangled shroud,
 free, dark flight to Dover.
 
       if only
       I had enough
       ribbon.
 
 The unit lined an airfield road
 to salute her
 Humvee hearse
 enroute to the helipad.
 
 The bayonets of their new black CABs
 pointed like gag direction signs
 nailed to a post in the center
 of camp:
 
 Chicago 6416 Miles.
 
 Seattle 10921 Kilometers.
 
 Baghdad You’re Soaking In It.