Six essential qualities that are the key to success: Sincerity, personal integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom, charity.

Early next morning, Josh, Robbie and I were called to the head office for a meeting with the Sergeant. 
    ‘Boys, I think you know the reason why you’re here. And yes, it’s true. Pack your kit, light as possible. You’ll be leaving at 0400 hours, due to arrive at 0800. I will assign you a driver with the Land Rover. There have been suspicious sightings around and next to the border, so I’ll need you three to check it out. Approach with caution, you know the drill. Any questions?’
    Robbie cleared his throat. ‘Umm, how long are we posted there for Sir?’
    ‘As long as you’re needed there. Any others? No? Ok, see you all at 0400 tomorrow.’

    After our quick brief, the three of us headed to the barracks to pack our gear, and arrange our food rationings for 7 days. If any more was needed, the driver would travel back to camp to stock up. These patrols didn’t tend to last long anyway - only a few days were needed to examine the area, and backup was called if necessary. The cheerful teasing and light-hearted mockery was lost between us, seriousness replaced the jokes and a methodical procession of packing was undergone. It was vital that all of us packed the essential equipment, and any extras that fit into the weigh allowance. After we had crammed our holdalls full, we checked through each others bags to see if we had missed anything out.
    Josh pulled out the laminated picture of Jess that I had slipped into a side pocket. For once, his eyes held a sincerity without his usual teasing glint as he looked at me. A single thought of what was to come passed between the two of us, and he slipped the photo back into my bag without a word.

The End

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