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Cook in Guam Alexander November 5, 2012


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Author’s Note: This narrative takes place in WWII, 1943. During this time, Japan had taken over Guam, and troops from the U.S. were sent to reclaim it. People who were to fight were sent to different training camps before they could leave. time,

Also during that

There were metal, food, rubber, and other rations happening in America. The scrap metal was used for the war effort along with the food, but the rubber rations were because the factories that made 90% of the rubber for the United States were taken over.

So, This is the story of how my greatgrandpa got sent to the war in Guam.


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My Family Tree

This is my family tree. You can see me, some of my cousins, my grandparents, and some of my great-grandparents. The screen-shot cut some of it off, and the tree has a doted line where some people should be. Sorry about the gap on them, I had to delete the last name because this is going to be online.


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Cook in  Guam  

I can’t  believe  I  let  him  talk  me  into  joining  the  war.   I  can’t  believe  we  thought  we’d  stick  together,  even  in   World  War  II.  What  was  I  thinking?  I  should  have  just   stayed  home  to  cook  for  my  family  like  I  always  do.   Before  I  could  wonder  if  I  would  ever  0inish  college,  or   even  make  it  home,  the  Major’s  booming  voice  cut   through  my  thoughts:   “All  right!  Any  last  questions  before  we  head  off  to   Guam?  No?  Good!  Now  before  we  go,  I  need  to  say  that   we  have  an  opening  for  a  cook,  and,  preferably,  for   someone  with  prior  cooking  experience.  If  you’re   interested,  meet  me  in  the  mess  hall  by  the  end  of  the   day.  DISMISSED!”   I  darted  in  between  the  tents  over  to  the  mess  hall   as  soon  as  he  stopped  speaking;  I  wanted  that  job  as   cook!  I  loved  to  cook  for  my  family,  and  I  cooked  for   them  everyday.  I’m  perfect  for  the  job!  Plus  it  would   ease  my  worries  and  regrets  about  signing  up  for  the   war,  because  I  would  never  be  0ighting.   “Um,  I’m  here  about  the  job  as  cook,”  I  nervously   said  as  I  stepped  hesitantly  into  the  mess  hall.  


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“Great, have  you  cooked  before?”  the  Major  asked.   “Yes,  I  cooked  for  my  family  everyday  before  the   war.”     “Perfect,  you  start  now,”  he  told  me,  “Here’s  cook-­‐ book  for  50  people,  but  when  you  get  to  Guam,  you’ll   have  to  make  four  servings  for  the  200  men  there.   Start  by  cooking  something  for  the  0ifty  men  here   though.  Consider  it  a  test.”   I  rolled  up  my  sleeves  and  0lipped  through  the   book  for  something  to  make  for  dinner.  When  I  found   a  recipe  I  liked,  I  grabbed  all  the  ingredients  from  the   back  and  started  cooking.    Soon  the  fragrant  smells   wafted  to  my  nose.   It’s  just  like  home,  I  thought,  only  ten  times  bigger!   That  week  0lew  by,  and  next  thing  I  knew,  the   army  moved  me  again.  But  this  time  I  wasn’t  even  in   the  same  country;  I  was  in  Guam!  When  we  got  there,   our  camp  was  just  a  small  clearing.  We  had  to  clear  out   the  trees  just  to  make  room  for  the  tents.  I  even   started  wondering  ‘Why  did  Japan  want  to  take  over   this  overgrown  jungle  in  the  Birst  place?  Other  than  the   fact  it  would  make  Japan  bigger,  it’s  just  a  jungle!  And   now  we  have  to  reclaim  it  from  Japan…   Alexander

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Once we  had  cleared  some  room,  the  0irst  thing  we   did  was  put  up  the  dining  tent.  I  started  cooking  right   away  while  everyone  else  set  up  their  tents.  I  decided   to  make  some  bread  and  soup.  I  started  by  mixing  all   the  dough.  There  was  so  much  of  it  that  I  had  to  mix  it   in  a  bowl  the  size  of  a  trashcan!  Now,  as  I  mixed  the   dough,  I  0inally  understood  why  we  had  the  food  and   metal  rations  that  were  so  annoying.  Without  them  we   wouldn’t  even  have  metal  bowls  or  the  ingredients  for   dough.  It  just  felt  so  good  to  feel  the  sticky  dough  on   my  hands  again,  without  worrying  that  I  was  using  up   our  rations.  Once  that  was  done,  I  started  on  the  soup.   I  took  the  biggest  bowl  we  had  and  0illed  it  with  hot   water,  then  started  0illing  it  with  various  meats  and   vegetables.  The  bubbling  soup  was  so  tantalizing!   While  I  chewed  on  the  soft,  warm  bread,  I   re0lected  to  myself:  I  could  get  used  to  this;  it’s  not  so   bad  here.    And  one  of  the  best  parts  is  that  I’m   supporting  my  country  without  having  to  Bight.  I’m   helping  people’s  lives  by  feeding  them  instead  of   destroying  people’s  lives  by,  well,  destroying  them.  


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Interview: Where was he stationed i.e. What country •He was stationed in Guam for one year

• What was the setting like? •It was an island with palm trees and a jungle. They had to build all the roads and buildings.

What was it like to be in the war? •Not bad because he cooked for 200 men in Guam •

What was happening before the event? •He was going to collage to get ready to teach when he signed for the war up with a friend who wanted to. •

What year(s) (date possibly) were you there? •1943 •

Do you have any photos of it (Without Blood) •(I have a whole folder of them on my mac now)

What was happening during the event? •Guam had been taken and they were getting it back. It was a jungle.

How long were you away? •One year.

Who was there with you? •Nobody that he knew.

Was there a moment you remember that stands out? •Not really. •


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Reflection Questions What specific  challenges  did  you  face  during  this   project? One specific challenge I found was how to trim it down to one moment, because I had three moments at first. In the end, I only got it down to two moments; I wasn’t able to make it one.

What did  you  learn  about  your  family  member?   (personality,  character…) I learned that he went to Guam for WWII, loved to cook even before the war, and after the war he helped out at his grandparent’s restaurant. This explains a lot about my brother, because he likes to cook and apparently both lines of our family were cooks. What  did  you  learn  about  yourself  (as  a  learner,  as   a  family  member)? I learned that I was a part of a family who had been in a lot of wars. My great grandpa was in WWII, my grandpa on my dad’s side fought in Vietnam, and my grandpa on my mom’s side almost fought in the Vietnam war.


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How have  you  grown?  (as  a  writer…) I now noticed that I am bad at finding one small moment, I’m working on cutting out extra fluff and now I’m better at it though. I was able to cut out a whole scene. Why  do  you  think  doing  a  project  like  this  is   important? It helps us learn more about our families and we learn more about both our families, and historical events.   What  part  of  this  process  did  you  enjoy  most?  Why? I enjoyed the family tree making. It was cool to see a visual of how our family looked. What  part  of  this  process  did  you  least  enjoy?  Why? The research, I couldn’t find any sites that related specifically to my moment, so I had to make the facts more general. How  do  you  plan  to  share  this  project  with  your  family/   family  member? I plan to show them the website for this booklet.


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Bibliography 1. "Rationing on the US Homefront during WW II." Rationing on the US Homefront during WW II. Bob Cody, Dennis Jones, Adams Funeral Home and USBank, n.d. Web. 30 Oct. 2012. <http:// rationing.htm>. 2. My great-grandpa


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Alexander02pd2018 Identy Portfolio  

A historical narrative based on my family’s experiences

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