Epinal

Sergeant Lloyd Adams

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7


It was a time for much rejoicing among the troops, and as the scotch was passed around, the soldiers took turns telling their most adventurous stories. For Adams, it had meant the end to an unbelieveable long time period of solitude and self-reflection. He walked around and stared down into the foxhole where he had spent the last month of his life. A smile came to the young man’s face as he knew that the regiment would be soon moving on to a real camp with warm showers, toilet facilities, and fresh cooked hearty meals. Dispatches had been sent ahead by central command, and the 324th would be moving out in the morning, guns in tow. They would make their way twenty-six miles through the Vosges pass and into the town of Auntamas. The retreating German army made several unsuccessful attempts to burn the village down, but a strong, organized resistance group made it nearly impossible.


Lloyd took one last puff off the cigarette in his mouth, and chucked the butt down the hillside. He surveyed the scene quickly and made his way back to the foxhole. It would be his final night to sleep there, and despite how messy and uncomfortable it was, the hole in ground seemed like home. He climbed down into his lair and closed his eyes.


By 0900 hours, the former encampment was deserted. The 324th had packed up what little gear they had, hooked the howitzers up to the backs of Jeep’s, and began down the long road to Auntamas. It was November 14, 1944. In less than eight months, the war in Europe would be over. Lloyd’s feet ached, and he could feel the blisters forming on his heels. Sixteen miles today wasn’t too bad of a walk, he thought. Soon the whole company would be stopping for some sleep. There was talk going around of small pockets of German soldiers still inside the town, waiting for any unsuspecting U.S. soldiers. Sergeant Adams told his men that they should fear nothing and keep a positive outlook.


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© By Glenn John Adams