118 words, the repetition is tighter, the sentence structure makes more sense. The frags work better.
"We planted another boy today, old enough to husband, not around enough to father. Small mercies there. We've practice so everybody knew what to do. We knew when to line streets and welcome him home. We knew the correct, repeated, so sorry words to say. Waited in line to say them to his parents and wife. We knew the honor guards' names from before. We knew to line the streets again as he went to rest. We could recite the well-worn words of commendation spoken before the open ground. We knew which casseroles we liked. We knew the precise moment to crack the right joke in the church basement. We were well practiced. Wars make for good practice."