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Wht Did He Leave?
Jimmy was a young man that grew up in the small town of Bakersfield California; his father was a Marine in the Great War and lost an arm in the fighting around Belleau Wood. His father worked for a newspaper as a reporter on sports for the local highs schools, while his mother worked in the factories. Jimmy grew up during the great Depression and saw the suffering and pain of the people around him as they had to go without food and proper living conditions as they worked just barely to feed their starving families. So he got permission from his parents to open up a soup kitchen that he ran until he left to join the marines and gain his lifelong goal of joining the elite Group of men serving their country. This is not a story of what he did before the war but what he did during the war and what his best friend remembered about the young man named Jimmy Smith.
“Jimmy’s sister came to visit me the day after I was released from the hospital, I knew why she was here she wanted to know what happened to her older brother and why he won’t be able to come home and hug her and take care of the sick father and mother.”
“John how are you feeling today? Does your leg and arm feel better?”
I knew that all this small talk was just to break the ice because I Knew I looked like I had been ran over by a train then stamped on by an elephant.
“I’m feeling better Rachel thank you for asking. I do know why you’re here the doctors told me you would be coming by the day after they released me.” By then we were sitting on the front porch of the house that my parents left me after they moved back to New York when my father got a job there.
“I am sorry John, but I really want to know why my brother Jimmy will never be coming back even though he is not dead and not missing in action, and I know that if you were not hurt as bad as you were you would still be over there right now. So will you please tell me?” So that is how it began I agreed to tell her but I told her to come back tomorrow because I had to find some pictures that I needed to help tell the story and I had some things that her brother my pal Jimmy asked me to give to her.
The next Morning
“John I brought you some breakfast. Where are you?”
“I will be right there Rachel just give me a sec to get my shirt on and grab my coffee meat you on the porch.”
“Ok John by the way I brought some food for you and mother says high and father says he is going to come by tomorrow to talk to you also.”
“Ok Rachel are you ready for me to tell you why your brother can not come home ever again and why I should have been with him when we were told about the mission.”
“Yes John I really do what to know.”
Ok let me see; ok so like all recruits we were sent to boot camp to begin our training for combat in the pacific. Least that is what our platoon thought we were going to be doing but instead we were sent to a hidden base in the middle of England were we started in training how to become spies for the marine Generals on Japanese troop movements and all of course me and your brother were as white as can be so we asked our company commander and he said we had been selected to perform a different mission then from of company.
“Boys you are going to be the very front line when we hit each island and you will be on the land weeks before we every hit land your job is to start clearing up resistance pockets so your comrades can land and finish the job, but there is one thing you will be doing this job tell you die or you get hurt there is no way for you to get home because once this war is over you will be moved back to this base to train another pair of men to the job that you are hopefully going to do. I will give you a week to think about it. And so you know you will be able to contact your families every month but you will never see them again unless of course something happens.” Our response was one of silence as we sat there and listened to the coronel tell us this and what was expected of us and what we would have to do. We took are week and went on leave to London to think it over with beers and dancing with the girls but did nothing the lord God would disapprove of.
“ That brings me to this first picture here is us in a bar in London and the girl next to your brother is by what I hear now your new sister-in –law that had to be a great wedding. Well back to the story.” Well we got back from London and we told the coronel that we would take the job and so we were given train tickets and a plane ticket each to a place that we had never hared of and I can’t tell you because of the official secrets act that we signed. Any ways our training made us hard men we could kill without caring but it still hurt us we became killers of men that would kill our friends when they hit the beaches and fought to take the island that we had called home for weeks.
The Work of Two
To the Japanese we were ghost in the darkness that came up to the foxholes and killed them all with knifes and bayonets and vanished before they could respond. We were the marines that sniped their troops while they were build defenses on the beaches and we took out commanders and troops just a like. By the time that we had been doing this for three weeks we found a POW camp and rescued the troops that were still able to walk run and kill we took a whole island with these men before our comrades came and landed on the beaches with guns blazing. This saved hundreds of lives and we were able to save an entire division of marines that had been captured on a different island. While working with these men they were surprised to find out that there was only two of us because they told us they found our work on all of the other islands that they had stormed they found dead bodies that were killed by knife and bayonets and not bombs and shells.
The Last Fight
“That was right before the battle of Iwo Jima we were told that this was our next spot that we would be going to work but there was a catch we would have to kill as many japs in a week that we did in a month because the landing had be moved to a earlier date then what had been expected.” We said ok and went to work we were dropped off a mile of shore and we swam to the beach but there was a problem with our supplies drop and it missed the island and so we had to do our job without anything but out knives and pistols that we had. We moved from one spot on the island to the next and every place we had been we left the dead bodies of the enemy that we attacked. We did this for the week and then the day came for the landing we were on the far side of the island were we were supposed to be picked up but our sub never showed so we had to hike across the island to our troops on the other side and get picked up. On the march back is when I got hit in the arm and I got hit in the leg at the other beach but your brother carried me back on his back and when we got to the marines they patched me up and we were moved to our next island.
That is where I left your brother but it was the day before the landing and we had pushed to the place where we were going to be picked up and I got shout in the arm again and had to be pulled out they pulled us both out just to put your brother to work in Japan he didn’t even get rest they dumped him off without any partner but he did fine because when the war ended he was ordered to report to the aircraft carrier in Tokyo top be at the surrender and he was their because he sent this sword from the General in charge of the base that he went to be transported to the ceremony this for your other brother Tommy. After that he came to visit me in the hospital and told me he was getting married and that is the last time that I saw him. I think that they sent him back to the first base where we started our training many months ago. That is all I can tell you, I am sorry you can’t see your brother again this is the last that you will see me tell your pops that I am sorry that I can’t talk to him I have to leave tomorrow to head to the base and start to train the next group of men.
“Thank You John for telling me this and when you see my brother tell him that I miss him and that he should send his wife to come and meet the family. And for you since you are leaving I will tell you know I have always thought of you even when I have denied it I have liked you so write me and please be safe.”
2 Years after the Forgotten War
“Well John we are back I never thought I would see this place again my how it has changed since we left all those years ago.”
“Yes Jimmy it has but it will be good to see your family again and especially your sister Rachel I hope see will say yes when I ask her to marry me.”
“Hey boys don’t forget me I may be pregnant but I can still move faster than both of you. Jim how far from your house any ways?”
“Just up Chester honey we will be there in about five minutes.”
At the house Jimmy’s family is sitting down for dinner when Tommy looks out the window and screams, “Mom dad Jimmy’s home and there are two people with him!” They all rush to the door and hug jimmy his wife and Rachel and John walk off to talk to each other. When they came back to the group Rachel is crying in happiness not only had her brother come home she had been asked to marry by the man she loved.