The Greatest War Story Ever Told

December 20, 2011
“Get down boys!”

Jack Young was under fire. The German watch tower had become aware of their presence, and now along with his comrades their lives and their mission were in jeopardy.

“Young! Focus! Without any sense in that head of yours, you’ll end up dead as the hundreds before you. There’s no peace here.”

He was right. The battle unfolding before him sent bullets whizzing by his helmet as he watched the merciless Germans fire from their post. His face reflected the anger of the enemy and even though Young knew this was his first time in combat, he was determined it wouldn’t be his last. Their general gathered them behind a hill in the bomb beaten earth.

“Here’s the plan boys. We take this station and we’re one step closer to winning this game. It’s not just America you’re fighting for, you’re fighting for democracy boys! If you remember your mission and follow through to whatever end God’s assigned to you, you’ll be men your families will be proud of...”

His speech was cut short with the explosion of a hand bomb yards from their position. They scattered. It was time to take action. Jack took cover behind a nearby stone fence with some of his closest comrades. He pulled out a picture of his fiancée back at home, and kissed it before aiming his rifle at the guard tower. Seconds later he found himself knocked on his back in the cold snow. A grenade had exploded in front of the fence, reducing it to pebbles. Pulling himself up, he began assessing the damage.

“Oh God please don’t let me die...please,”
Around him his ears were filled with desperate prayers and cries of help. He knew the Germans would be throwing another bomb soon; he had to act quickly. Working alone he pulled his bleeding comrades away from the smoke and out of shooting range until help could arrive. After pulling three men to safety, he turned back for any more survivors. What he found was his general lying in a fetal position in the snow. His leg had been blown off in the first blast. Young thought he was too late, but through a rare silence in battle he managed to make out a whisper.

“Young come here,”

His right leg was detached from his aching body, as Young rushed to bind it with his first aid kit. General Whitfield let the boy try to change his fate, but he knew he wasn’t going to make it out of this alive.

“Young listen to me. I’m done for here, but you’re not. You are going to lead this troop to victory. I believe in you son. And that metal’s going to look real nice on your clean uniform, but just remember like all the men before me, I died fighting. Now go live your war story. You’re the hero now.”

Young watched the life drain out of General Whitfield’s eyes, as chaos continued around them. Taking Whitfield’s dog tag, he cradled the general to join the other causalities. He was in charge now, and as he wiped a sooty tear from his face, he decided that he was going to lead these boys to victory if he had to die trying.

“Cut! Brilliant work everybody. Those were the best shots we’ve filmed all day.”

The director clapped for the actor’s work. He was very pleased with himself. As he went on about the filming the Young’s medal ceremony tomorrow, the dead soldiers got up from their positions to clean off the fake blood caked on their bodies and the crew began cleaning up the set.

“Remember 7 A.M. tomorrow. People are going to love this movie people, I hear our names being called for an Oscar already.”

The actor who played Jack Young, said goodbye to the director and the crew, as he got into his fancy car. Driving home he tried listening to the radio, but he couldn’t stand to here another false preview for this movie.

“Based on a true story, Jack Young, a war hero, tells his gallant story of being a solider for the country he loves...”

It was late by the time he got home, and his newborn baby daughter was sleeping in her cradle upstairs. He went into her room to say goodnight. As he watched her sleep in her white blankets, he couldn’t stop thinking about the movie.

“Why did I ever sign up for another war movie? I’m no Jack Young. There never even was a Jack Young, and I’m pretty sure there never will be,”

As he looked at his daughter, he remember exactly why he signed up for this movie. It was to provide for her and his wife. Leaning over the side of her crib he kissed her little forehead.

“Goodnight Peace.”

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