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To Hell and Back: Chapter 1

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posted on Jan, 7 2007 @ 10:24 AM
**Any persons in this story are made up and completely Fictitious**

Chapter 1
How it began

Did you ever notice that when you are teenager you are always right? It seems that adults have no idea what they are talking about. Yea…I know that feeling all too well. I was around sixteen when I started to think like that. Everything my parents said to me always seemed wrong no matter how right they were. Don’t do this, don’t do that is what my mother always used to tell me, but did I listen? No. I did it regardless of what she said.

My dad is a WWI Veteran. He thought bravely and valiantly in that war. He used to tell me all these cool war stories about what happened to him in Europe. Back then they were called the “doughboys” a funny name in my opinion, yet my dad though bravely no matter what his title was. He was a team player that fought for what he believed in and this is what I thought war was like. Sure there are causalities here and there but, we could always get more people.

Well not too long ago…three years ago to be exact, a whole new war occurred, one that will be remembered by everyone. The war is World War II. My father quickly headed to training to get back in shape and then he was shipped off to the front lines in the Pacific. Well this is where all things real and fiction end. To me, war was like what me and my friends played back home in Kentucky. Michael, Dan, Gary and I would always go outside in the forest and pick up sticks. We used them as our guns and the entire forest was our battlefield. Those were the good old days.

Anyway, two month pass and we still haven’t received any letters from my father. Yet one faithful night we learned the truth. An army jeep drove up the road that led to our house. Three men stepped out of the jeep dressed in military clothes. I didn’t know what they were doing but for some reason my mom was crying. She walked up to the door and opened it as the men walked towards our porch. It was almost dark and the sun was setting making the sky burn bright. The men approached my mother each carrying one thing. “Mrs. Howard we regret to inform you that your husband was killed in action” said the middle man. That man looked old, about fifty. He barely had any hair left and what ever hair he had was all grayish. My mother started to cry harder then before. “Now we assure you, he died a hero. He led his friends up a hill controlled by the enemy. Thanks to him, that mission was a success” continued to the man.

The man then handed my mom an envelope that he was caring. “He handed this letter to one of his squad members and told him that you must get this. It’s a letter that he wrote just before he was killed” the man said looking sad. I don’t know how but instantly I knew that he wasn’t sad at all. He could care less about this, this was his job. Go to people’s houses and tell them their son has been killed in war. That is what my father always said. Those men could careless about the soldier’s lives. The man gave my mother one last thing, an American flag, and then saluted her. He and the other two men turned around and got back into the car and drove home.

Now being sixteen I only knew that my dad was dead and that’s it. Yet stupid me I let fiction determine my life. I wanted to join the army a few days after the men showed up. My mom was outraged by this idea, especially since my father just died in the war. She immediately yelled at me and grounded me for having such thoughts, but I was stubborn. I could care less what she thought and one night I just got up and left. It was in the middle of the night when I decided this. I was going to join the army no matter what. I wrote a letter to my mom and then walked away.

posted on Jan, 7 2007 @ 10:25 AM
I walked into the brisk morning. The sun hasn’t even come out yet. I walked in the direction of the town where I knew there was a place to sign up for the army, but I was an idiot. It takes about two hours to walk to town from where I live and I couldn’t just take the car, so I walked it. Two excruciating hours later I came into town. By now it was nearly eight o’clock. Everyone was up and about doing their business. I walked into the recruiting station right next to the theater. There in the window I saw an old looking man with a big hat on pointing at me. Uncle Sam, the first time I’ve ever seen him was when I was nine years old when my dad showed me an old recruiting poster. The poster filled my heart with overwhelming joy knowing that I will be helping my country.

I went over to the guy that took care of signing us in. He gave me a registration to fill out and so I did. I gave the man the registration back and he looked at me. “Are you really eighteen” he asked me. “Yes sir I am” I responded immediately. “Well Johnson Howard, welcome to the United States Army” he said with no expression on his face.

Not long after that I found my self in the training field. I was dressed up in the standard army uniform. I was holding my M1 Garand, the greatest rifle in the world, by my side. I kept training hard for the year and finally my training was over. After that I was placed in The Big Red One.

After I was placed I received my orders. I was to take part in Operation Overlord; you might know it better as D-Day. It was to take place on June 6, 1944 and we were to enter Europe.

After months of preparation we were ready.

It was all planed out exactly. The planes went in over night and by now the defenses on the beach would be obliterated…at least that’s what he hoped for. The boats that carried the men cut through the waters as German planes swooped down from the sky shooting at us. At the same time German MG fire came from the towers. Well kids this is where reality and fiction has NOTHING to do with one another.

I wished it would end soon and that this was just all a bad dream. Unfortunately it wasn’t a dream. It was pure reality in its greatest form. “HEADS DOWN” yelled the captain as a German fighter came down from the sky firing at us. Simultaneously we all ducked our heads down, but not all of us were lucky. Charles, the man next to me, was shot in the head. Blood and what looked like pieces of his brain went flying all over us. It made me sick to my stomach and I quickly put my head over the boat as I threw up.
I couldn’t take it anymore, I wanted to go home, I wanted to live my life regularly. My dad made war sound fun yet the reality was that war was the exact opposite. War was human kind at its worst. My heart completely suck down lower then low as the boat came to a stop. That could mean only one thing…we were going out. Everyone got ready to rush out of the boat towards the enemy. Yet there was one problem. We had to swim some of the way there. I quickly prayed and a few seconds later they opened the hatch began to get lowered down. Dread came straight through my body as the men started to rush out. I was in the back so I got off last, which was a bad thing. Now they concentrated all their fire at us.

Only the first few managed to get off but then the only a hand full got out. I could feel and hear the bullets wiz by my head some of them nearly hitting me. I quickly ran forward walking on my dead friends and I quickly fell into the cold ocean. I opened my eyes in the ocean which stung my eyes. I looked around and I was amazed. I could see the bullets in the water effortlessly cut into the water and continue through it.

posted on Jan, 7 2007 @ 10:25 AM
I stopped for a second and realized something important. I was standing at the bottom of the sea bed. How was that possible, I though humans float in water. Then I realized something, the pack I was carrying on my back…weight a lot. Now the bullets didn’t even bother me, I started to fear that I was going to drown to death. I started to struggle but kept myself calm remembering my training. Yet in the end it didn’t matter…I was a dead man. I didn’t want to die so I did the only rational thing. I took my pack off my back and swam to the top.

My head quickly broke out of the water as I gasped for air, but I couldn’t stay above water for long. The bullets were still whizzing by. I dove under the safety of water and started to swim to shore. Soon I walked on the beach. I crashed down behind an over turned boat on the beach regaining my strength. I found it strange that I kept hearing these weird whistling noises above us. I had no idea what was going on, but not long after the whistling started it ended with a large blast.

A head of me explosion where taking place everywhere. Mortars. I couldn’t believe it as I watched in horror. Some guy was running back towards me when a mortar hit him. Dirt was kicked up as the explosion occurred but soon it settled. I was staring in the same exact spot where the man was but he was no longer there. All I could see was blood everywhere a few pieces of his pack and a broken gun. But when I looked around the site I saw what happened. His entire body was everywhere. Legs, arms, and body parts everywhere I looked.

It was a nightmare, one that I wished would end soon…really soon. I had no energy left what so ever in my legs. I could barely stand up; I had to use my gun as a support. But once I got up, my energy returned. I held my rifle up and took aim across the beach at a German MG nest. I opened fire. Eight rounds later and they were still active. I missed them. I quickly reloaded my gun and fired again. Still I missed. I kept firing in till I ran out of ammo.

I had no idea what else I could do. When all hope seemed lost a mortar hit a guy knocking him side ways. His gun was still in tact. I picked up the gun and examined it. It was a Springfield Sniper Rifle. I looked through the scope and saw the German’s. I squeezed the trigger and heard the rifle explode to life. Yet through the scope nothing happened. The bullet missed and it hit just below the MG nest. I took aim again but this time aimed a bit above one of them. I squeezed the trigger again and I could see the gunner fly backwards. A straight shot through the head. I aimed at the other German and shot, and killed him.

After that I dropped to my knees. I had no energy left. I just sat there looking at the battle amazed I wasn’t hit. A few hours has passed as I just continued to sit there. Watching, staring, and listening. Death engulfed the entire battlefield. From war with my friends to war in reality, life is not what it seems to be. I was thankful when the gunfire died down. The fight was over, yet I still had not energy left. A medic came over to me. “Are you alright” he asked shaking me. I looked him straight in the eyes and shook my head. “Where are you hurt” he asked. I shook my head letting him know I wasn’t hurt physically. He knew what I felt, he was probably feeling the same thing. He helped me up and helped me walk to a make shift bed.

This is where my story takes place. I am Johnson Howard a soldier of the American Army. This is my story, this is my nightmare.


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