winter soldier
 n.— «Why “Winter Soldier”? This harkens back to 1777-78. After suffering three terrible defeats by the much larger British force and marching hundreds of miles, the hungry, ragged, typhoid-infected, 11,000-man Continental Army retreated to a winter headquarters at Valley Forge, Pa. Entire militia companies had deserted to return home. Of those men who remained and the 700 women who fed, nursed and warmed them through that winter, revolutionary firebrand and pamphleteer Thomas Paine wrote, “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of all men and women.” Those who endure beyond their obligated duty have come to be called “winter soldiers.”» —“Veterans Have Another Fight — Peace” by Jack Dresser Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon) May 1, 2008. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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