Small Wars Journal

Things That Make a Grunt Smile

Things That Make a Grunt Smile

Keith Nightingale

The first warm shaft of sunlight after a cold dark night.

A child’s innocent look.

Anything hot to eat.

Anything cold to drink.

The pickup bird.

Mail call.

Six letters and a package.

A solid internet connection.


No bugs.

Thick book on a boring day.

The first round of supporting artillery.

The lazy red circle of Spooky working your front.

Getting to the top.

An extra woobie.

Dry feet.

You can see the armed support overhead.

The end of the road march.

A silk dress flowing in the breeze.

Being out of their range.

Seeing them first.

A fresh breeze and shaft of sunlight.

Hot shower.

The smell of the opposite sex.

A voice on the other end of a person you love.

A working radio when needed.

A glimpse of a happy couple

Fresh ammo resupply.

In a covered building when nature unleashes its fury.

When you have to, you can.

A bug free day.

A boulder formed bunker.

Music you like.

Support overhead.

A quiet moment when you need it.

Unexpectedly good chow.

Unexpected food.

The sound of inbound when you really need it.

A kid’s smile.

More outgoing than incoming.

Moonlight on the OP.

Warm water shave.

Orders home.

Clean uniform and comfortable boots.

A hand on your shoulder when you need it.

The dawn after a long night.

A commercial aircraft on the runway.


Your memories.

Your found friends.

Your old friends.

Sitting in your own kitchen at dinner.

An understanding family.

Mutual lies and liberties.






Absolutely spot on.