05 April 2009

First Man Returned to Earth

05 April ….

Private Wells was transported to Camp Trafalgar aboard our dirigible, Orca, with further transportation to Earth to be carried out aboard the HMS Fitzgerald. It will be another week at least until the RTS Santa Fe is expected to return, and we needed to send Wells back for better treatment than we can deliver on Venus. The other two men, Privates Johnson and Kelley, will return to duty tomorrow, although on a limited status. I just hope this is the last of the deaths and injuries we receive but that would be naïve of me to truly believe. RSM Taggart is feeling more comfortable, as he is almost at full regulation battalion strength and is more than happy his men are returning to duty. All three privates will receive the notorious "bloody slash."

Corporal Mendoza and crew returned back to Fort Humid to build additional water tanks and windmills in which to utilize the water from the wells they have been drilling these past two months. We currently only have two tanks and two windmills, and after their construction project is complete we should have an additional three around the fort's interior. Sergeants Garcia and Cromwell have also been building additional chariots on their spare time, as there are plans to utilize them once the new roads are built. Corporal Jones is still working on the new warehouse and is approximately 90% complete. Corporal Redfeather is working on the brick kiln and intends to send a small aerial patrol further north to find an gravel pit and hopefully a quarry. They will first utilize the Orca piloted by Seaman 1st Johannson, and if they spot a potential site will then send a mounted patrol north. We are still only using mounted patrols as we are better to maneuver from those fast dinos.

RSM Taggart and I talked about our boys and also about the anticipation and speculations of what they will face as fish at G.M.I (Gannon Military Institute). We talked of our time in the service, as we both joined as soon as we were out of school at the tender age of sixteen. Both of us completed school because our dads were both serving as career NCOs in the Republic military. It runs in the family, I suppose. It's still rather unusual, because most men do not graduate from school as the Republic is still very rural. Only about three out of ten men continue past the 6th grade. Petty Officer 3rd Class Valen, our resident Alamo Gazette combat journalist, has still been writing on the troops and Mr. Griggs. I'm looking forward to seeing what he has written about us, as only the officers have been permitted to read the drafts he is sending home. We grunts will just have to wait for a paper to make its way back to us.

Mr. Griggs will have one year in grade come May and will be very happy to start his second year as a subaltern. If we receive more troops, it is very likely we will receive another officer of lieutenant grade and Mr. Griggs will be forced to take on the position of executive, rather than commanding, officer. I think it will be difficult for him to step down in position, as these last seven months he has been in charge of us. We will also receive a colour sergeant as well if that happens. I would be happy to have Garcia promoted, as I am impressed with his performance here on Venus, but he does not have enough time in grade yet. He has only been a sergeant for one year and must at least have two more years in grade before he is eligible for promotion. (This should not be a problem for any of us, since we are the 1% of the Republic Marines who are serving off Earth). Well, I'm off the NCO Mess for dinner and a cigar.

[Editors Note: Wound Stripe (aka the Bloody Slash): For receiving an enemy-inflicted wound in battle, a member of the Republic’s armed forces is eligible to receive a Wound Stripe. This takes the form of a red ribbon, four inches in length, one half inch wide, with the location of the battle in gold on the ribbon. The ribbon is sewn diagonally at a 45-degree angle above the cuff on the left sleeve. Multiple awards are possible; additional ribbons are sewn above the first.]

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