I open my eyes. I am scared to death when I hear the loudest noise I have ever heard. I look around and realize that I am not myself anymore. I am very small now; I am probably 5’8” tall and not very strong at all. I would guess that I am 18 or 19 years old. I then look at my clothes. I am wearing a very uncomfortable helmet, and a greenish colored uniform with a lot of of equipment that is weighing me down. I look at the necklace hanging around my neck, but it's not a necklace, it’s a dog-tag. I read the name Paul from the dog-tag.
“Wow”, I say to myself, “I am in the U.S. Military! The military is so cool!”
I look down and notice that I am holding M1 Garand. I know about this gun and the wars that it was issued to U.S. soldiers. World War II must be the war that I am taking part in right now.. I have watched a lot of documentaries and read many books about this war. It’s incredibly interesting how the military strategizes and plans out their attacks. Almost 300,000 Americans lost their lives to this war. This war was very sad and devastating because of all the casualties and destruction it brought upon countries..
Bang! Another very loud noise startles me, then I remember, “I AM IN THE U.S. MILITARY!”
I begin to look around at my surroundings and for the first time since I entered the body of Paul, I am very scared. I see many men around me and myself trapped in this one boat, all crammed in like sardines. All the other men around me are praying and quietly talking to themselves. I see one guy staring at his watch so I decide to look at mine to see what time it is. It is 6 o’clock in the morning, but none of these men look tired, they all look scared and very anxious.
Bang! I now quickly look up because of the surprising, loud bang. As I look up, I see a beach in the distance where the artillery strikes must be coming from. I stare and stare and stare and stare at the land in front of me… this is the Battle of Normandy Beach. I begin to panic. My mind is going on a frenzy as it traces through all the knowledge I have learned about this battle. I know that in a couple of minutes, the soldiers and I will have to get into the water and get to the shore while there are thousands of enemies shooting at us and while they are doing that we will have to watch out for the barbed wire and spikes that have been placed there by the enemies who are shooting artillery strikes at us right now! I hope that nobody can see the fear in my eyes right now.
The door to the boat suddenly opens and everyone runs out to attack the enemies, but I do not want to die today. Attacking the enemy is very nerve-racking. Paul is trying to force me to run and fight for America. I let him succeed. I run into the water and I keep running. The water resistance is making it very hard to run. The legs of this very scrawny body does not help. My muscles in my back, legs and shoulders are aching as bad as a ninety year old with arthritis in every joint as I go further and further on this trek.
It seems like every second, somebody falls down into the water. Shot. Dead. Right next to me. Everywhere around me there are splashes of water. I know that those are things that are killing my friends, well, not my friends but Paul’s friends. Ping-ping-ping-ping is all I can hear right now. I am so nervous running through the water. I want to live, I want to fight and live for my country.
I finally reach the beach physically unharmed. I am getting shot at as I run. I can run faster now that I am on land but I am still fatigued. There are barricades and obstacles everywhere. The scariest part of death is the not knowing when it will come. I could be running for one more second or one more minute or thirty more minutes, then bam, dead on the ground. Don’t know when, don’t know how, but it could happen at any second.
I reach an obstacle set down by the enemies to try to harm us without dieing. I take cover behind it. I need to defend and protect America, I need to defend my home country. I try to get myself motivated. I get out from cover and try to shoot some of my enemies who are shooting at me. I see other soldiers running toward the enemy's bunkers, so I do the same. I am running and shooting. There is chaos everywhere. There are bodies flying due to artillery strikes and blood splattered everywhere. I just keep running, I am so close to the bunker.
Everything around me goes black. There is a loud high-pitched squeal hurting my ear. I don't feel good and I can't think straight. My body hurts so bad. I can't see well, everything is blurry. I am laying down somewhere. Why am I laying down, I have to get to the bunker. I need to defend my country.
I try to stand up but I have no strength at all. My body does not allow me to get up. I look around and see that both my legs are gone. I just see noodle-type string coming out of my legs. I see blood everywhere. I don't feel good. I can't think straight. I feel very tired. I want to get up and defend my country, not attack the enemy, but defend my country and the countries of our allies. I can’t get up so while I am down, I should take a nap to regain energy. My eyes close.
A sudden jolt goes through my whole body. Not my body though. I am in a different body. I look around and can guess that I am around 6 feet tall and much more muscular. My body seems a lot older than my last one, I would probably guess that I am around 30 years old now. I am sitting in a stone hut with a couple other people, and...wait… I see a couple of Gewehr 41’s neatly stacked up against the wall and a mounted Maschinengewehr 42 (MG 42) in a short and very wide window. Oh man, I am now a Nazi. I hate Nazis. I search through my pockets and find a piece of paper. It has a bunch of random things written on it but at the top there is a name; it says Albert. My name must be Albert. Right as I say the name in my head, I get a flood of his memories. I see memories of him and a family, Albert's family. Albert’s family seems great and from his memories, he also seems like a good guy. He has a young daughter and wife.
The memories abruptly end when somebody scares me and starts to talk loudly. He is rocking back and forth in his chair, he must be nervous. He is mumbling very fast, and I can not understand what he is saying. I look outside through the short window and see a beach… with a lot of obstacles covering the whole beach, further than where my eyes can see. I recognize this place, I am fighting to defend the beach of Normandy.
Many people start to scream, “They are here, prepare for battle!”
The other soldiers in the bunker and I quickly stand up and grab our guns. I don’t know what I am doing; Albert is in control of the body and I can’t stop him. I run to the window-mounted MG 42 and stands there, ready and waiting. I look out through the tiny window and see boats, piled with soldiers, getting close to the beach. They all simultaneously open their doors and soldiers come pouring out. Hundreds, no, thousands of soldiers are running through the water, advancing to the beach. I start to get very nervous. I don’t want to kill any Americans, but Albert has more control over this body than I do.
“Please don’t, please don’t, please don’t,” I say to myself over and over again.
I can tell that Albert wants to start shooting and so I do. This hurts so bad. It hurts everything, physically and emotionally. This gun has so much power and so many bullets. POW POW POW POW is all I can hear, and it hurts my ears a lot. My whole upper body hurts because of this gun. The recoil of this weapon irritates my wrist and my hands because Albert wants to make sure that he hits his targets, and it takes a lot of strength to use this enormous weapon. This weapon also makes me sad, very sad. I am killing American soldiers who are trying to defend their country and their allies countries, but I can see Alberts memories as he is shooting this gun; he is trying to defend his family. The U.S. is trying to defend themselves from Albert and his allies while Albert is trying to defend his family from the U.S..
I hear a quick whizzing sound, then bam. I am lying on the ground with agonizing pain coming from my chest. My hand slowly touches close to the pain. Blood, a lot of blood all over me. War is just people trying to defend their home and the only way to stop war is for people to realize that they all just want the same thing; to keep their home and loved ones safe. My eyes become blurry, then they close.