I just watched one episode where Sledge and his...
by Kbyrnes (2017-05-03 14:53:43)

In reply to: Accepting imminent death as a reasonable outcome in your  posted by WilfordBrimley

...platoon (I assume) are briefly in a rear area being served lemonade by young USO aides; Sledge asks his buddy what the heck these young women (in perfectly immaculate, gleaming white dress) were doing there; and upon being greeted by one of these apparitions, Sledge can only stare.

The interaction rings rather true for me as related second hand. My dad was in a rifle company of a division of the 7th army in WWII, in the field from October 1944 until VE day, up the Rhone River Valley and through the Vosges Mountains to the right of Patton, ending up in Stuttgart. Conditions were generally warlike, with plenty of shelling, close range fire, and retail acquisition of one small Alsatian town after another. Every so often some ranking officer from the rear would drive up ferried by a jeep wanting to inspect the troops, who would dutifully line up grimy and largely un- or undershaven. A few times they were brought back, platoon by platoon, to get hot coffee and donuts from Red Cross ladies, and there was significant cultural dissonance created by soldiers who'd accepted imminent death as a reasonable outcome and perhaps had recently seen someone's arm or head shot off meeting with sweet innocents who looked as if they'd come from a church social; not that the soldiers weren't glad to see them and share the food and drink, but it was kind of weird (this was related to me by my dad and his platoon buddies who had a reunion in Chicago about 30 years ago).