Troops landing the northern french coastline
It was the 6th of June 1944, early morning. Operation Neptune, aka Operation Overlord, was in action. We had one mission; to invade the French city Normandie. We invaded the city early in the morning. I was in the group of the airborne landing. We would jump out of big planes wearing parachutes and invade the city. We were 24 000 airborne soldiers; British, American, Canadian, Norwegian and free French. For the first time of my time here in the war I felt kind of safe. Like I had my buddies beside me, through thick and through thin, and most importantly, through war. It was the first time I’d ever been in a group of such size. And that calmed me, but it didn’t last long until the adrenaline started pumping through my veins. I heard the others talking about the landing in Omaha Beach. There were 195 000 soldiers who had been sent over water to invade the coastline. Over 5000 ships had been sent to Omaha Beach. The numbers were impressing. I remember jumping. We were so high up I thought it would have been impossible to survive. But it wasn’t. My parachute unfolded, unlike some other soldiers’ parachutes. It was awful to see one or two fall down to the ground while I was watching, unable to help. But the feeling of jumping out from an airplane, soaring around in the sky like a little bird among my flock. It was amazing. But quickly after we landed we were all back to reality, back to war. Waiting for us on Utah Beach were german troops. They were shooting at us, shooting at the planes and at the parachutes. So we responded with fire. We knew what had happened to the first troop to land the coastline. It was a british airborne group. Only 10% of them had a chance to survive, over 4000 people from that group died. But that was 6 hours ago, and knew that the day had gotten better and better ever since. But we also knew there was a german troop which was forcing the troops of the allied back towards the beach. For what seemed like decades we fought until there was nothing but bones and pieces of body parts left of us. Luckily, I wasn’t hurt. Sure, a scrub or two, but nothing serious. Before Emily left for war she gave me a small little pocket angel. I think it’s what keeps me safe. But it’s also what makes me worried, she should be the one with an guardian angel, not me. Bullets were flying everywhere and I could hear friends whom had been shot, screaming, suffering severe pain. But this was war, and such things as pain were not relevant. I had been in the war for almost a year when they decided to give me a break. Then they called me back in, I never even got a chance to go home and visit mum and Amber. Nor Kyle. I was going back and forth so often I started wondering if I’d ever get to go home ever again. But then I got the letter. That awful letter. Mum was no longer with us. At first I couldn’t believe it. But then, when the news had sunk in, I felt so guilty. I hadn’t seen her since I left for the war at the age of 19. That was 5 years ago! So eventually I got to go home for the funeral and stayed for a month before they shipped me back. I remember checking on Kyle. He still lived alone in the house we once had shared with each other. He had his own business . He was a carpenter, and he managed to pay all the bills every month and still had some money left for clothes and food and tools. A grenade woke me from my daydreams, my flashbacks. The picture off my mother lying in the coffin slowly disappeared and suddenly all I saw was fire.
A half year later I was in the same position. German troops had gone to attack against allied troops on the 16th of December in southern Belgium. Therefore I was sent there the 23rd of December. I arrived the 24th of December. Happy holidays! I wasn’t nor ever will be a fan of killing on Christmas eve. I kissed the safety angel twice that day, I needed the luck. And as it turned out, I wasn’t the only one. I had hurt right my ankle, a bullet had hit the bone. I guessed the safety angel Emily gave me didn’t work any longer, maybe it was worn out. I was given sticks to walk with. After my short visit at the infirmary I was told that my foot was half paralysed. The bullet had hit a nerve. When the bullet had been removed I couldn’t move my foot without a wave of pain going through my body. I wasn’t allowed to carry any heavy weight, I hoped that they would send me back to America, back home. But they didn’t. I still needed the medical care so they decided to send me to a bigger hospital with a doussin other soldiers who also needed medical care. We were all in the back of a truck, the cold weather had no effect on the truck. We were all sweating. Though I think the driver was freezing, he was wearing Russian gloves. I remember seeing him wear them as he entered the truck. The people in the truck were good people, normal people. They were no murderers, but normal just like you and me. Therefore I made a lot of friends, but I knew the risk of loosing my new friends, it had already happened before. It was usual. Death was the point of war, if there was a point. We woke up to the sound of a gun. The driver had probably just gotten shot.We heard steps outside but no one checked the truck. We waited for about half an hour. Then one man left the truck and went to take a look at the driver. He came back and told us the driver was dead. Then he took the place of the driver and started driving. We changed drivers every two hours, which did not turn out for our benefit. Everyone had been driving in different directions. The next morning we were lost. It took us the whole day before we ran into an american convoy. At that point we were starving and our wounds had gotten worse. They shared their bread with us, took our truck and put us all in an ambulance. There was a hospital near, not so big though. It wasn’t the hospital we were supposed to go to but it didn’t really matter. We just wanted to rest.
My memory from the rest the of the afternoon was weak. I remember being carried in, having ice put on my foot, the word blood poisoning and a nurse singing a lullaby. I also remember waking up not feeling my right foot from the ankle and below. And I remember the face of an angel. She had brown curls, green eyes and light skin. She was Emily.