The six of us moved on our bellies, out toward the jumbled remains in the killing field of the mudflat, as one, without any signal. The ability of Marines in combat to need a whole lot fewer signals and orders than the guys doing all the training back home thought they needed amazed me, once again. We had become homogenized into one thinking and feeling entity by bitter and brutal circumstances.

We moved just like the almost shimmering gray images of the other recoverers of the dead from the enemy side. We crawled, chests touching the mud, and then slid along until encountering some of the rock debris that had been scattered about by the impact of the recoilless rounds against the face of the cliff.