A Boy and A War
The train had just left the station, his thoughts creep with nostalgia as he watches is home fade into the horizon. His chest holds a nervous wreck, only seventeen and knows nothing beyond his home. He wears an old green t-shirt with red lettering that reads, The Red Menace is real.
His hair short, cut in the manner of a well respected boy. His eyes glitter with sadness as he has to leave everything behind. He knew this day would come but he wasn't ready, he had just graduated high school and was ready for adventure.
But now, he is well pressed into the chaos of the world. About to be armed in the fighting against a world enemy. For months he had heard the stories and updates of the war on the nightly radio. But it was all too surreal that he will now be part of such stories.
He can still hear the radio announcer speaking of the enemy bombarding the world as if to rid it of cancer. As the train moves further from his home he can still feel the tears of his mother and the strength of his father. Who has also fought in a war, he knows well the horrors and mustard maturity that must happen if one is too survive such a thing.
But his father taught him well and the boy respects he parents strongly. He knows to keep his head forward, follow orders and things will fit together perfectly.
His home, now vanishes to the curving earth, he reaches into his bag and pulls out a photo. It is a photo of his entire family. This one in particular strikes him in the deepest sense of grief and tragedy. For his sister, which holds the brightest smile in the photo with her husband by her side; only two years married. Lost her husband in the war only three weeks ago.
She begged the boy to stay and run, but the boy is devoted to this country that has protected itself from tyranny. The boy is one for history, so to him, this world is still young to its devotion of freedom. As painful as it was to tell his sister he was going, he had to.
He feels in his heart that it must be done. Whether he will have an impact on the war itself or not, he contracted himself to be the best he can be. No matter how terrible things will get, he will be the one to hold his head above the water.
Three weeks later, a short stint of training, and three months of combat. He is placed in the front lines of the most important mission he has ever been on. Only eighteen, rifle in hand, freedom at his side, and the love of his brothers. Fighting against the evils of man.
As his platoons amphibious vehicle collided with the shore, the sun rises just over the cliffs ahead.
Before the door swings open, the boy takes in a heavy breath and smiles as he enjoys the rare spectacle of nature. Never has he felt so lifted before, as if everything is about to change. His heart feels heavy, but overwhelmed with peace. One might think this strange, but the boy knows all to well what it is.
He then looks to his left and right. Bullets fly over head, but no one flinches. Anti-air rounds explode like over packed fire works. Machine gun fire pours upon the sand of the shore. Muzzle flashes crackle against the horizon as the sun stretches shadows. The boy leans to his left and speaks to his squad leader, "There is no one else I would have rather served under."
The boys squad leader, only two years older than the boy. Looks down at him, and with his war torn face, which has aged him immensely, he grins as he bites down on a cigar and says through his teeth.
"And I the same, (he then turns around and looks to the platoon and yells), No better men to serve with, let us bring these bastards to their knees begging for freedom!"
Suddenly a round snaps and hits the squad leaders helmet. The packed vessel of thirty men duck upon hearing the round hit the helmet. They then look to the squad leader with frozen eyes. He is still standing, and standing with his usual grin.
"Get up men, this is no time to fear, you die, you die for freedom and you can rest while the rest of us suffer some more."
The men then stand up, the gate to the vessel opens. The men rush out and disperse to the nearest available cover. But only anti-tank barricades are available for cover and they are merely glorified jacks. There is at least three-hundred meters to reach any formidable cover.
Endless rounds shower upon every inch of the beach. Men rush with shear will and a prayer of luck. The boy reaches a barricade with his team, crouches behind it and scouts his surroundings. Non-stop chaos clouds the scenery, men drop in an instant from all sides. The boys heart pounds with relentless perseverance to be triumphant, what ever that may be.
Examining his situation he begins to think of a plan. He yells to his squad leader, who is about thirty meters to his right. The boys team remains by his side. But as he yells for his squad leader, the constant barrage of machine fire, explosions and cannons from battle ships drown out his voice.
So he has no choice but to have his men lay down fire at the machine gun nest that is hell bent on sending them to the door step of death. Before he gives the orders, the boy looks to his men, two, which are his age and one, only a year older. After looking over his team the boy says.
"If I get shot, do not come rescue me, regroup with our squad leader and he will guide better than I can, (He reaches into his right breast pocket of his jacket and with a tear falling from his face, he pulls out an envelope with a small silver chain wrapped around it.), make sure this gets back to my family. And give these bastards hell......Now lay down fire!"
His men take up arms and fire with great precision at the machine gun nest. The boy sprints as fast as he can. The crackling of rounds fly by him, sand is kicked up by enemy gun fire. His breaths are shallow and quick, his mind focused on the goal.
Twenty meters: thirty meters, fifty meters, ninety meter, hundred and ten meters. The machine gun goes silent for a moment as it has to reload. A few seconds pass and the machine picks up again. The boys men are doing their best to force the the nest to take cover as much as possible. Causing them to have spastic aim.
Two hundred meters, the boys heart strangely remains calm. As he is running, he sees a Bangalore to his to right. It is laying next to a downed soldier, he needs one if he is going to clear a path up ahead. He rushes to it and is able to retrieve it. His rifle in his right hand and a Bangalore in his left, his eyes drenched in determination.
Two hundred and fifty meters, he starts to yell at those who are already at the breaching point. He yells while drawing attention to the Bangalore. A soldier from another company hears him. He turns around and instantly sees what he holds. He starts to yell, telling the boy to hurry, that he can make it.
Two hundred eighty meters,
A round from a sniper hits the boys chest just below his heart. He stops momentarily in the sudden shock of being hit. A ring echoes in his ear as he looks forward and sees the other soldier yelling at him to keep going.
Two hundred and ninety meters, two hundred ninety five, the other soldier rushes up as the boy collapses on the beach. He grabs the boy by the neck of his jacket and pulls him into cover. The soldier tries to reassure him,
"Hang in there, you're going to be alright Corporal, just hang on......Medic.....Mediiiiiic! We need a medic!"
The soldier then places the boy against a small berm of sand. He looks to the boy, the boys eyes are closed. The Medic arrives, "Move private I'll handle this." The medic pushes the soldier out of the way. The soldier then grabs the Bangalore from the boys hand, which is still grasping tightly to it.
He sets up the Bangalore and calls it out. A strong blast is set off and clears the way for the troops. Upon the successful blast the soldier returns to the boy to see if he is okay. But while making his way towards the boy, he see's that the medic is gone. His heart instantly drops.
But he approaches the boy anyways to pay his respects. He suddenly hears voices screaming out, he looks to his left and there, running up is the boys team. They see their team-leader lying on the ground and rush up.
They look to the soldier and ask what happened, The soldier response with a somber but fortified tone
"A sniper got him, but he was stubborner bastard and nothing stopped him from getting us a Bangalore, not even a round to the chest, and were able to use it."
The boys team pays their respects and then they advance, and as they advance to the new breached line. Their squad leader runs into them. As they meet up in the chaos, the squad leader looks to the boys team asks where the boy is.
They freeze with grief and shake their heads. The squad leader takes his cigar out of his mouth, removes his helmet and places it to his chest.
"May heaven be grateful for the enlistment of a new and great soldier, god bless and may we meet again."