World War II Friends By: Shelby Pokorny I slipped my feet into my boots while zoning out the gunshots from left to right. Adrenaline shot through my body as my heart was beating faster and faster, then I got the feeling where it was going to burst out of my chest. As I barely finished tightening the laces of my boots I quickly reached for the flap of the tent. As I slowly pushed the flap aside the brightness of the morning sun blinded me. As I slowly began to regain my vision I saw troops falling to the ground. I began to run, dodging bullets, following my troops. I headed for the forest of dense trees. I felt a sharp pain coming from my back. It knocked the breath out of me. As I was trying to get my breath back I was getting weaker and weaker. Then I fell to my knees. Then I collapsed completely. My face pressed up against the cold wet leaves. I felt something press down against my shoulder, turning me over onto my back. As I looked up I found myself staring up the barrel of a gun. Pop I woke up to the sizzling and popping of bacon cooking. “James, come get your food before it gets cold,” his mother yelled. I stretched my arms over my head and awoken from my dream. I was back to reality. The sun was creeping into my room, reflecting off of the wind chimes outside my window. I got out of bed, opened my door, and observed my mom cooking over the hot stove. We sat down and started to eat. My dad was drinking some black coffee and reading the New York Times. It was an awkward kind of silence. Dad flipping the newspaper, forks scrapping on the plates, loud sips. “Mom, Dad,” Mom looks up at me aggravatingly, and Dad lifts his eyes over the newspaper and looks towards me. “Um, I got an “A” on my science quiz,” I hesitated.
I was calling myself a baby, a coward, a wimp over and over again in my mind. What I want to tell them is that their straight “A” student is planning to go to war and fight for our country. After four weeks of never having the guts to tell my parents I was planning to go to war, I had a plan. I woke up when my parents were deep asleep. I had everything. I was ready to go. There was only one thing left to do. Leave them the note they never wanted to get. Their son was leaving and possibly will never return. I laid the note on my mom’s nurse uniform, so when she woke up she wouldn’t be able to miss my message. I grabbed my bag and headed out the door. I walked three miles to the nearest bus route going to the harbor. After riding the bus for seven hours I got on the ship going to Europe with the rest of the young soldiers going off to fight in World War II. I paired bunks with a man named Harry Bissett. We became very good friends. He told me about his life. I told him about my family back home. After about a week of riding on the ship we finally docked. After about two weeks of marine boot camp before we went to Europe it was finally time to go to war. I slipped my boots on. My heart was racing. It was just like my dream. Harry was panicking. His gun wouldn’t load because it was jammed. I was full of stress. I was starting to panic myself. I just wanted to curl up in a ball and lie there. The dream phase was over; I was in reality. I snatched the gun from Harry’s hands. I had no concentration on fixing the gun, but somehow I got it to work. I threw the gun back to Harry. I hesitated as I pushed the flab of the door open. I stepped out of the tent. Harry was right behind me. The sight of soldiers, fellow troops falling to their knees. Their lives were being taken away from them within seconds. Others were laying on the cold wet ground suffering. I myself was only 16. Harry was even
younger than me. I thought of him as my little brother. I took him under my wing. I would not let anything happen to him. I grabbed his wrist and told him to stay with me and to not stop for anything. We started to run. He struggled to keep his balance while running. He was holding his helmet on top of his head so it wouldn’t fall off. We both dodged bullets and hurtled bodies. I turned around like every five seconds to make sure Harry was still behind me. I felt a sharp pain shoot through my left thigh. I wasn’t sure what it was. I heard Harry scream with fear. I fell onto my side. I wasn’t able to scream. Harry was standing next to me telling me to get up. Tears were running down his face. I felt helpless. I didn’t want to put Harry in danger. Something gave me the strength to get up. I wasn’t sure what it was. I stood up my arm was around Harry’s shoulders. I started to limp. Harry behind me pushing me, helping me walk. He was encouraging me to go on. He told me we would make it, and we would be alright. We finally made it to the dense trees. There were still bullets shooting past us left and right. I saw a cave it was about fifty feet away. We managed to get into it and get out of the enemy’s view. We fell asleep to the cries and moans of the soldiers. Harry and I stayed there until the following morning. When I woke up there was smoke in the air. I nudged Harry to wake him up. We walked back to where the battle took place. We exchanged a few words because of the view we were taking in. Bodies everywhere, lives lost. Their families would never see them again. We headed towards the nearest camp. We didn’t see anybody, no one alive anyway. We came upon a hospital tent after hours of walking. We looked inside. We were happy to see that there were people inside.
They got us something to eat. They bandaged up my thigh. It felt a lot better after they were done. Harry looked at me and smiled. I smiled back. We started to laugh. “We did pretty good we survived the first battle. Now let’s survive the rest.” Harry said. “We will, we will.” I replied. **** Two years passed since I went to war. I was glad to be back home with my family. They were happy I was back. They were proud of me for going and fighting for the country I loved. I was proud of me too. I felt better than I ever felt before because I know that I helped a lot of families. I am proud to be an American.
Author’s Note Surviving the first battle takes place during the 1940’s in Europe. Germany attacked Poland on September 1,1939. That was the start of World War II. World War 2 ended in 1945. Six long terrible years known as World War II. World War II took place because of unresolved issues, results from World War I, and the interwar period in Europe. Plus the effects of the Great Depression in the 1930’s. During that time period another event that was going on was the Holocaust. More than 6 million Jews died during the Holocaust. The Holocaust was led by a man named Hitler. The Holocaust took place in Nazi Germany. The Holocaust was a big part of World War 2. World War 2 changed and affected the lives of many people. Children had to leave their families and stay with people they didn’t know to get away from the bombing. Many people lost their jobs, and many people lost their loved ones. Taxes went up to pay for the war. Kids had to go to work to help pay for food, help pay taxes, and pay mortgages so they could keep their homes. Many young men had to leave their families to go fight for their county. My great-grandpa fought in World War 2 when he was 16. He fought in World War 2 for six years. He was a marine and he fought in the Pacific Ocean. His name was James Burke. He left to go to war without telling his parents of friends or anybody else.
Works Cited Barrow, Mandy. “World War 2.” World War 2. Woodlands Junior School, 25 Jan. 2012. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. It told me the countries that fought in World War 2. Now I know some of the countries I can use in my story. “Causes of World War 2.” Causes of World War 2. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. It taught me why World War II started. It will help me because I can use it in my story when I talk about why it happened. Grant, Reg. World War 2 The events and their impact on real people. New York: Dorling Kindersey, 2008. Print. It taught me about the road to war, Germany triumphant, war in the Pacific, Turning of the tide, end game, and the aftermath. It can help me in my story because part of it is taking place in the Pacific. Hynson, Colin. In Their Own Words World War 2. Pleasantville, NY: Gareth Stevens Publishing, 2005. Print. It was about like what it was like and the climax. I could use it in my story when I talk about the climax. “Total dead.” World War 2 casualties. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, 22 Jan. 2012. Web. 23 Jan. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/world_war_II_casualties>. This article was about how many people died and survived during World War 2. It showed me how many people died and survived. “A World War 2 Timeline.” Timeline of World War 2. All Rights Reserved, n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2012. It showed me a time line. I know what happened during World War 2.
Published on May 22, 2012