Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: SURPRISE (07/25/19)
- TITLE: Are You Ready
By Carolyn Ahrens
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Although his daddy was a sharecropper, the family was dirt poor. A gnawing was in Charles’ heart that he could something more. In those days the Government had a program, “Civilian Conservation Corps” known as “CCC”. It provided work, clothes, food and shelter for unmarried young men. It paid $30 with $25 sent back to the family.
Charles, with his daddy to see him off, went to town one Monday morning to join.
“Sorry son, we have enough workers right now,” said a man at the desk. “Try next month”. His heart was broken. This was a way for him to leave the farm and send much-needed money to his family. He walked outside to wait for his daddy who'd walked across the street to visit a friend. Sitting on a bench with his head low, a man approached him.
“Hey son. Are you looking for a job?” he enquired. “Yes sir,” he replied. “Well, have you considered joining the Army?” the man asked. “They always have work; You get fed, clothes and get to see the world!” This appealed to young Charles, but fearing they wouldn’t take him, he said he was 18. He had no proof, but they’d take his daddy’s signature to confirm it; When he returned, Charles told him he’d need to sign so he could join. The problem was, his daddy thought he was joining the CCC’s not the Army and he didn’t know about the age. His daddy couldn’t read or write so he didn’t know any the better. He made an “X” for his signature and it was done.
Training was fast and furious; Before long, Charles was among thousands in a convoy of 400 ships, heading for the war in Europe. This wasn’t exactly what he had in mind when he left home, but he was proud to be a soldier and proud to serve his country.
Reaching the coast of Sicily, he was told to be first off the small boats that brought his group close to shore. Pride overcame his fear. Leading the first wave and dodging bullets from the enemy, they made their way on shore. It seemed the shooting would never end, but eventually it did. Less than half that got off the boats, made their way to a safe place and got to rest and regroup.
“Let’s move out,” ordered their Sergeant. “Keep your ears and eyes open for any movement. Don’t let them surprise us.”
Single file they walked for hours down a deserted road. Suddenly bullets riddled the road. They couldn’t see the shooters. Charles fell to the ground, as did men in front and behind him…screaming! American planes showed up, what seemed an eternity, dropping their bombs…. Then Silence.
Cautiously, Charles got up to check on his buddies. All but 2 were dead! Most had a surprised look on their face. Tears filled his eyes as blood ran down his head. How did he survive? It had to be God!
Not all will live to old age, just like the men and women that have died for us in war. We never know when our time is up, and we need to be ready to meet God…Jesus.
This was my daddy and indeed, God had saved him, for he had more to do. Daddy lived to be 93 being in 2 more wars. He would have 3 children. One a preacher to teach about Jesus…. One to help Vietnam Vets…One to be his caregiver when Alzheimer’s invaded his mind…And a grandson, now an Officer in the Army, following his footsteps.
Death can come suddenly…a surprise event.
Are You Ready If It Does?
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