The battle weary veteran looks down from the low ridge he is occupying. Below, the next battle is beginning to take shape as he watches.
They have come so very far. Most of it on foot. Heaven alone knows how many miles.
The soldier knows that the time for fighting is not yet over. The next few days will decide the war. The generals of both sides have mustered all of the reserves at their disposal. Both sides are committed to victory.
The soldier checks his gear as he prepares to get up and move forward. He wonders briefly if it is all worth it, but the thought is quickly dashed away with the knowledge that it is.
He never imagined what the fight would really be like. He knew it would be difficult; that there would be many sacrifices. But the intensity and fierceness could not be understood without having been there. The older veterans tried to prepare him for what to expect, but you can never truly be prepared.
The fatigue is heavy. His body aches from exhaustion and healing wounds. But he knows that more men are killed in retreat than in a charge. Besides, he has been in the fight from the beginning. It is only right to be there at the end.
After the first steps, gravity helps him move forward.