Bravery

December 16, 2010
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“Men, today we are going to embark on a mission to break through the axis army’s line of defense once and for all” said the commander.



The sergeant of our group, David, gave us the details. “Basically what we are doing is going in, breaking through their defenses, and meeting up with other attack groups. Now get on the ship. We’re leaving.”


As I got on the boat I realized we were in for a rough ride. As we headed out I drifted off in thought. Sometimes I wonder why I joined. I guess it was to serve my country and get a little money. But sometimes I really miss home back in Wisconsin. We lived on a farm out in Appleton. There was plenty of room for exploring and running around. It was great. But then the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and I thought I should serve my country in any way I could. The best way to do that was to join the army.


Suddenly I was snapped out of my reverie by my sergeant giving orders. “Men we are approaching dog green sector. Our job is to get through the defenses as fast as possible and to engage the enemy quickly. Private Jack you take the back, I’ll lead.” All over the boat, sergeants were giving orders. Suddenly we were ordered onto a small landing craft. No time to be scared now I told myself. Just get through this day.


“Go, go, go” yelled sergeant David as we rushed towards the beach. “Quick” he said “we need to take out those 45’s over there.” “Yes sir” we yelled as we raced up the beach in between a group of Belgian gates. As we raced for cover behind the next line of defense, logs with sharpened points, I fired off a round with my M-1 Garand. As we sheltered behind the logs we reloaded and listened as David gave us orders. “Now, we won’t have cover until the cliffs, so we’re going to try to get rid of a couple of those big guns from here.” Meanwhile, all around us, men were going down. “Ready, shoot” David said. “Bam, bam, bam” we all shot and quickly ducked behind the barricade. “Good shot” Will said. “Okay, head for the cliffs” shouted David. I ran like I had never run before though walls in between hedge hogs until I got to the cliff.

I looked back to see only about half our group coming, but no Will. “Where’s Will,? I asked Jack.” “He’s there” pointed Jack. “Come on” I yelled “help me get him”
“No” yelled David “it’s too dangerous” but I kept on running. When we got there we found him bleeding heavily from his right arm and groaning. We picked him up and brought him to a sheltered area under the cliffs. “Will, are you okay” I asked him but all I got in return was groans. Suddenly a medic came rushing up “I’ll take him from here” he said. Come on lets go said Jack. “We have to keep moving. “But Will…” I started to protest “I’ll take him you keep going” ordered the medic. Tears came to my eyes but I agreed we had to go. “Bye Will. I’ll beat those Germans for you” I said and ran back to our sergeant before I could cry anymore.


Soon we headed up the cliff and were doing well until suddenly we were under fire from a big .75. We were pinned behind a large rock with nowhere to go. Sergeant David urgently said “we need to get rid of that gun fast, if we don’t it could become a rallying point for the defenders.” I don’t know why but I immediately offered to go. “Okay” he said “but be careful.” I climbed down a little ways and started moving around in a flanking maneuver. Finally after a long climb I was in position. I slowly raised my gun to my shoulder and shot the gunner. I started to race in but suddenly two others came out of hiding. They shot at me and missed. I quickly took one of them out, and knocked the other guy’s gun out of his hands and quickly shot him as well. I turned the gun away from my squad and called down to them that they could come out. Finally we had broken through enemy lines.

Throughout the rest of the day we took out enemy machine guns all over the beach. After our forces had captured the beachhead our group set up tents for the night. But, before I could go to sleep I had to write Will a letter.

Dear Will,

Thank you for being the best friend I’ve ever had. Without you I don’t know whether I could have gotten through training. You were always telling me to keep trying and be brave. Well, today I did that. Thanks for showing me how.


Your friend,

John





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