The Frozen Frontiersmen
When I shipped out to the remote Snow Base known as Iron River, no training and no prior commitment could have prepared me for what I would soon face. It was October ’04, and my orders were to man a small outpost supply camp with the hopes of it being established enough within a few months to build it into a full-functioning base. We had immediate plans to expand and try new or radical tactics of advance, but the fighting was heavy from the get-go and little could be done to expand.
Turns out, we we ended up holding on for dear life.
Survival mode. That’s what we called it. The supply lines were seldom and slim when they came. We had major casualties early on and lost half our men. And we all know, half of not much is darn near nothing. So we trudged on through a couple long, cold winters. No one told us how utterly freezing it could be. How lonely. How barren. Sometimes it was all you could do to keep yourself from depression and doldrums. I’m guessing what we went through was not unlike a cosmonaut hoofing it out in the dark and silent expanses of space station duty.
But, some how, with waning faith we made it.
My second tour started in October ’06. Our small unit finally, at risk of life and limb, forged ahead with a much larger base of operations. We barely got this structure procured, we the feeble few. But, somehow we did…thank God. Our numbers remained dismal. Our weapons and resources weren’t too much better than before. I don’t recall having a lot of ammo. Yet, the grit and gumption we won in the first two years of fighting it out with the elements and everything the Enemy could throw at us, must have got us in shape. There was now newfound vigor and hope for our original orders to truly be fulfilled.
Finally a few more supplies showed up! Not much, but, when nothing is all you have that,a little bit seemed like an over-abundance. And then there were new missions, and new strategies not explored, and then some fresh recruits made it UP our way. It was about time! And looking back, even though 2/3rds of the first ones didn’t pan out, the were two that did…and those boys are still fighting, one is even further north slugging old Sleuth Foot in the face for us.
Those were the days of the build. We honed so many skills rather quickly. Communications were finally established and kept up. Our training school and boot camp were also started in this era. Many things came together well. I was placed in higher command just because, even though I was still a little green behind the ears, I had a lot of early combat experience. I guess you could say I got a battlefield commission.
The third wave of recruits came in in the next two years, but, sadly took heavy hits early and we lost the equivalent of a whole new platoon in less than 24 months. That was a blow to the few of us that held on. We did a lot of retreating in our fledgling operations in those days. There was so much blood and disappointment and deserting, some even seemed to defect to the Enemy and his schemes. I was very angry and heartbroken for a time. But brighter horizons laid in the fourth wave.
By this time in early ’09, a field-tested group of seasoned soldiers stood proud in the drifting snow and northern gales. We weren’t too much better than we had ever been for resources, vehicles, and weapons, but we knew we could make it. It was then that we took a radical step to start covert missions and later convoys to other bases and regions far from our “Snow Fort.” You see, it had to be done. Dividing the lines was dangerous and risky in small arms warfare, but we couldn’t stand it anymore. Our stouthearted optimism stood tall and proud that there was nothing to loose. But there was much to gain. And, in this strengthening phase, we gained much. We gained a couple good comrades, priceless experience, and the confidence of a job well done. Much victory was gained at that point.
And all this brings us up to right now: The Age of Victory.
After so much fighting and much opposition, we are ready for full-scale assault. We now have fixed positions. We now have quick-responding air support. And our artillery is some of the most accurate and well-equipped of their breed. Recon. Snipers. Covert Ops. And I hope the leadership has raised to the call. Now is a time for war, for much war we will make. We will take back this land. We will plant the fire flag of our Commander in the frozen tundra. The colors will gleam on the hills of victory and we shall sound the battle cry. Trumpets of advance at the ready. Our armor is good; our armor is true. We are hearty, we the lionhearted. We are the Frozen Frontiersmen, the Fighting 7th! And I can hear the rumble of the mechanisms of war. For the first time I can remember, they are on our side and not the Enemy’s. My brothers, remember your training, remember the strength of the man next to you. The Commander is coming up behind us and He has already gone before us.
This is the fight of a lifetime.
This is what we were born for.
This is my one aim.
Because, in the end, we win.