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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Note (02/07/13)

TITLE: A Promise Not Forgotten
By Loni Bowden-Horn


The stench of acrid air that permeated the room smelled of decayed bodies and dried blood. This pungent odor infiltrated Jeremy’s nostrils as it lingered in the room like the morning dew on a rainy day. His eyes watered up for just a moment recalling this desolate, bleak, unforgotten place of isolation and destruction. He had all but forgotten the crumpled up piece of mail in his pocket yet unopened. He could not bear to look down at the stump which had once been his leg. The memories were still so raw and excruciatingly painful that he just wanted to curl up and die.

Jeremy had been touted as a hero for his bravery in saving so many of the men and women under his command before a roadside bomb had exploded and left him vulnerable and powerlessly waiting for aid to arrive. He didn’t recall much after the shrill whistling; high-pitched blast had ascended in the air and struck him from behind leaving an indescribable excruciating pain coursing through his entire body. Jeremy was mercifully rendered unconscious and when he came to could vividly recall the swollen, limp shell of a man he had come to be. A sensation of tingling, heat and throbbing made him look under the sheet at his right leg but there was nothing left below his knee but a red and pus-filled oozing sore on his amputated limb.

He was no hero. The only reason that he had gone to war was to prove to his father that he wasn’t as worthless as he had been told. The words kept coming back like a recording on a tape, “Jeremy, you are a no good piece of garbage that will never amount to much”. “You are a sorry example of a son and I wish you had never been born.” Those words were seared in his mind like a piece of cattle being branded by a hot, scolding iron. The mark it had left pierced his soul to the very core. There was no one to go to that could ease his pain. His mother had died at a very young age of a broken heart from the abuse and suffering she had endured from her husband all of those years. It had left him a lonely, scared little boy with nowhere to turn.

Jeremy had been wallowing in his self-pity and despair that he had forgotten about the correspondence he had received several months after his hospital stay, trying to recover from his injuries. Who cared about him? His father certainly had not shown any love while he was growing up so he wouldn’t have sent his son any kind of letter. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to open it, after all what did he have to lose.

A note dropped from the envelope and it appeared to be written in a child’s scrawl. Jeremy read the following as tears streamed down his face:

Dear Brave Soldier,
Thank you for keeping our country safe. My name is Holly and I am 10 years old. I am writing to tell you what a special person you are. My daddy was a soldier. He was killed in the war. I miss my daddy. My mommy said he asked Jesus in his heart so he is now up in heaven. It says in the Bible that Jesus is our friend and that he loves us. Do you love Jesus? I hope you know him, but if you don’t you can ask him now. I will pray for you.

Jeremy dropped to his knees and cried out to God. He didn’t know exactly what to say. He asked Jesus to forgive him for all the wrong he had done but that he wanted Jesus in his heart. He asked God to be the father he had never had in his life before. Jeremy wanted someone to love him. It was then he felt a sense of peace wash over him.

How could he thank this little girl? He knew what he had to do. He sent her his purple-heart medal and told her he could never repay for saving his life but he wanted her to have his medal. He was very sad before he received her letter and she had brightened his day. For now, he knew Jesus as a true friend and savior and he would never forget the promise he made to her that day to never stop telling others about Jesus.

**Note: The idea of this writing came from a story I read about a soldier giving a girl his purple medal because of the letters she wrote to him but the story is fictitious and is dedicated to all of the soldiers who protect our country and freedoms. They inspire us each and every day for their bravery.

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This article has been read 449 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Emily Ritter02/15/13
This is a touching story. It reminded me of how I saw an image of Christ in a Olympic when I was in Junior high (well before I was saved, after college). Before she dove, I new she would win Gold, I saw Christ in her, and just knew she would win. (not sure how to describe it.) I'm sure you will touch many people with this story. Thank you!
Bonnie Bowden 02/16/13
Very inspiring story. Thank you to all the brave men and women that so diligently keep us safe.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/16/13
Wow what a powerful story. You did a fantastic job of laying out the conflict right away. Your descriptions were smack on, almost to the point where I could smell the smells. God can do so much with something that may seem little. I think as humans we may hope our purpose in life is something grand, but when done for the glory of God something as inconsequential as writing a letter can be huge! I loved this from beginning to end!
C D Swanson 02/18/13
I loved this entire piece! Excellent job with this.

God bless~
Richard Hicks02/18/13
very descriptive reading, enjoyed it.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/21/13
Congratulations for placing 8th in level one!