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When Life Gets Tough, Go to War John was little when he liked the army. He was about 4 years old when his grandfather had given him a home and his mom was in the hospital. On John’s fifth birthday he got an army airplane and three little army men. And on John’s sixth birthday John’s grandfather, Henry, had given him a lot more to add to his collection. And by the time John was 10 he wanted to be in the army. As John grew older the government needed him in the war. John got very excited and the proceeded to tell his grandfather the good news. “Granddad, I’m going to help the war in Germany, for America!” John started to say across the house. “John,” Henry said pausing before saying his statement. “ I am so proud of you.” Henry said in a uncertain voice. “I hope you can go but I hope you know I really don’t want you to go unless you are positive of your choice,” Henry said finally. “I will, I promise” John replied. One month went by and John was at war, and Henry was sitting in the kitchen all alone eating his breakfast. Every morning Henry would read the newspaper, and that one morning it had a small article to the side about the war. “There are more than 500,000 planes made and more are coming, for World War II. 61 countries are fighting just because of Adolf Hitler. Around 1.7 billion people (75 %of our population) are now at war.” Then Henry went to the page with the entire mini comics on it and cut out all of the ones that he needed to send to John. Every once and awhile Henry would send John a letter with a little note saying he is more lonely and to come home when the war is over then. In the envelope there is a comic strip. After a long while Henry gets a letter back saying things like I promise I will come back and sends him back a picture. Henry cut out the comic that was most appealing and Henry also cut out the war slip of paper that he had found in the newspaper. He put the two slips of paper in an envelope with a small note that read:




Then Henry put a stamp on the envelope and licked it shut. The next morning Henry put the envelope out in the mail box, as soon as Henry walked inside the newspaper boy came and threw the newspaper to Henry’s front step. A while after that the mailman came and picked up Henry’s mail. When the mailman left Henry went outside to get his new mail and his newspaper. In Henry’s mail was a card from his brother with a note that read: How are you doing? I know it is hard for you to be taking care of your grandson with no other parent to help you. I miss you please write back or come and visit. Jackson

Henry’s brother lived far from John and Henry. Jackson lived in Australia. Jackson didn’t write Henry much. Henry did not have a special relation ship with Jackson. Jackson was fifteen when he decided to move to Australia. Jackson now lived in Australia and enjoyed his life there. When Jackson and Henry were little they always stuck together and helped each other through problems. When they finally moved out of their old house in America they didn’t feel the same they felt far apart. Now they kept in contact by writing letters. Henry started to cry as he thought of his brother; he missed his brother so much. When Henry got back in the house he got out a piece of colored paper and wrote: Jackson, I miss you too. It is going just fine with John he is 22 now and off to war. I will send you a picture when he comes home. Henry

Once Henry wrote the letter back to his brother he sat down in his chair in the living room. Then Henry took out a photo album labeled John and granddad, and then Henry opened up the photo album and saw tons of pictures of himself and John. When Henry got to the last page he put the book away.


*** Henry received so many letters from John about how he was doing. And John said in another year the war would be over and he will come home. Henry wrote back to John: My job got changed last night now I have to make boots for the soldiers that are still fighting in the war. I heard they changed my job because they needed new boots. I have been listening to the radio and reading the newspaper in about the war. I miss you lots, Henry Henry was so happy that the year was going to be over in a year so he could see John again. Henry was so happy he had to spread the news. When the mailman arrived he said “My grandson is coming home soon!” Henry said to the mailman. Then when the paper boy came to his house he also stopped the boy and said, “Young man my grandson is coming home soon!” Henry said. That is great sir” the boy replied. He was on his way home from school; Then Henry went for a walk outside. He stopped at the grocery store and told everyone the news in the supermarket. (Henry also bought food too.) Then Henry walked back to his house, but whoever he passed even if it was a stranger he had to tell them the good news. Although one lady did not want to hear the news she ran off in the other direction when Henry was telling her his good news. When Henry got home he wrote one last letter to his brother and it read: Jackson, John is finally coming home! I can’t wait!!! Please send me a letter back I miss you but I’m glad you get to hear the good news. Henry,

Henry put the piece of mail out in the mail box for tomorrow and wished for Jackson to write back. ***


Henry, That is great news I am so happy to hear that! Jackson.

Henry read the note and put it aside. He was so happy to think John was coming home in a month. *** “Granddad? Is that really you?” John said as he walked in the door. “Yes indeed it is but my oh my you have grown a lot to since I have last seen you,” “I try my best,” As Henry was making John some coffee, John was looking at all the notes Henry had sent to Jackson. “Okay it is done kiddo would you like some coffee?” “Yeah I would,” While they were both sitting at the kitchen table getting ready for school eating breakfast and reading the newspaper with his grandfather. The next morning everything was back to normal. John got the mail every morning while Henry was up and around the house making breakfast. When John got the newspaper and once breakfast was ready they both sat down at the kitchen table and read and ate their food. John would always mention the 432 ships that sank and he was on one of them. After there was no more food to be eaten they got ready and John went off to work at the supermarket. While Henry was in the living room in his chair reading the mail. But when John was home from work it was fun and nice when Henry had help in the house. Also Henry did not find the house as lonely as it was when John was gone. Henry took the book of photos out one last time and took one photo of him and John out of the photo album to mail to Jackson.



Author’s Note

When Life Gets Tough go to war takes place in America and Germany. World War II was hard on Germans because they were in the Great Depression. Also Germany wanted to expand so Hitler gave Germany the right to expand .Also Word War II started because for Hitler to win Germany’s expansion he made an alliance with Italy. World War II was the most economic event because of all the supplies needed and built. World War II started in 1939 and ended in 1945. The story When Life Gets Tough go to War takes place in 1941 right when America started getting involved in World War II. The newspaper article was not real it was made up, with facts and information on World War II. However the character John was based off of a real person. My grandmother’s brotherin-law went to World War II. He was drafted into the war. No one knew much about him they didn’t even know his name he also lived alone. He died early in the war and he fought in late 1939. My grandmother’s brother in law was one of the 29,800 people who died in Germany during World War II. My grandmother’s brother-in-law lived in Germany but my character John lives in America. At the end when John every morning talked about him on the boat, my grandmother’s brother- in- law was not on one of those boats but the sinking boats were real. The attack on Pearl Harbor was at 7:53 am and 8:55 am and it was a surprise to everyone. 2,403 people died from the attack on Pearl Harbor because of Japan. Franklin D Roosevelt called for meeting the next day. On that day they passed a US Declaration of war on Japan. World War II has effected a lot of family’s at the end of World War II so many people were killed and a lot of family’s were not together. So many people’s lives were lost and so lives that were lost didn’t even fight in the war. In conclusion John was real except we didn’t know much about him. World War II was important and heart breaking for some people and no one should forget about it. World War II was a big event World War II was very important because a lot of people’s family was in it and everyone who was a part of it will always remember it.

-Ashley E. Greulich-Mund


Works Cited Farlex. "Rations - Definition of Rations by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia." Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus - The Free Dictionary. The Free Dictionary, 2000. Web. 02 Feb. 2012. <>.It helps you find the definition of words. This cite was helpful to me because it gave me a definition of the word ration.

Fitzgerald, Brian. Under Fire in World War II. Chicago, IL: Raintree, 2006. Print. This book helped me find out a lot about what Hitler did in World War II. This book also helped me see the whole outline of World War II.

"Why Did Adolf Hitler Start World War Two?" WikiAnswers. Answers. Web. 17 May 2012. <>.This helped me find more information about why World War 2 started.

Williams, Brenda. The Home Front. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2006. Print. This book was very informational about World War II , it really helped me fill my KWL chart. The book mostly helped me with the Anthropology/Sociology,



set durring WWII

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