As Sgt. Rock and his troops in Easy Company head into enemy territory, Rock reminisces about how he got to be the sergeant of Easy Company.
As part of his first hike in training camp, the recruits went past a bunch of Nazi POWs. The Nazi’s taunted the new recruits, calling them “wooden soldiers.” Rock let their taunts get to him. While walking through camp at night, Rock gets clobbered by the Nazi POW. All the while, the POW taunted Rock as a “wooden soldier.” The POW was eventually pulled off of Rock, but the taunts stuck.
Cut to D-Day and the invasion of Normandy. When Private Rock’s boat capsized, the specter of the POW’s taunts forced Rock to push on to shore. Not only does he hit the beach, but he uses a grenade to take out a German bunker. The captain of his unit tells him he’d give him a promotion, but the only way for him to get stripes is for someone else to cash out of theirs. Rock says he would never want to get his stripes that way.
As Rock’s career continued, the private found him and his unit pinned down my mortar fire. Again, hounded by the ghost of the POW taunting him as a “wooden soldier,” Rock pushes to the mortar encampment, wrestling with a Nazi while dropping a grenade. Rock takes out the mortal position, saving Easy Company.
Next, we find Rock and old pal Bulldozer in a town in France. A sniper nest as picking off U.S. troops, so Rock and ‘Dozer hung out a second story window to chuck a grenade at the nest.
Finally, we come to a mission where Easy Company needed to take a hill. Rock and the rest assaulted the hill, but took heavy casualties. At the end of the fight, Rock was the only one standing. With all of the troops dead, Rock finally earned his stripes, all the while still haunted by the POW’s “wooden soldier” taunt.
Back in the present, Easy Company gets hammered by a Tiger Tank. Urged on by the memory of the taunts, Rock crawls along the ground to get a good position on the tank, and helps Private Nick fire a rocket at the tank. But the tank stands, even when Rock chucks a grenade. Rock takes the brunt of the explosion, but the tank is now disabled. Rock is barely conscious when the tank driver comes out. The tank driver ends up being the Nazi POW from Rock’s past. Thinking Rock dead, he ignores the “wooden soldier.” Rock makes use of the Nazi’s slip up, sludging through a river and finally beating the Nazi in hand-to-hand combat. With his success, Rock feels like he finally deserves his stripes.
- “Regimental Shields”
- “A Tree Grows on Second Street”
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