Liberty 7th grader writes short story

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Chosen as best by Citizen

EDITOR’S NOTE: For the second straight year, Liberty Middle School teacher Amy Ryffel-Kragh, a former reporter for the Citizen, assigned her English students to write a short story, and the Citizen participated in judging the material. We came up with this one as the one to be published.

Alexander Brooks

Special to the Citizen

The year was 1929 in the bustling city of Chicago. In a small tenement, there lived two brothers, Mike Woods, who was 12, and Richie, who was 9. They were very different than many other children their age, instead of playing hopscotch, they played war, instead of reading books about fairies and goblins, they read books about guns. They grew up in a family where every generation was a soldier. It was easy to say that they ate, breathed and dreamed military. It was their promise to keep the legacy and become soldiers themselves as soon as they were able to.

Well now it’s 1939 and they were both old enough to enter the armed forces. With tensions rising in Europe, it was impossible to avoid a second world war. This was their chance to fight for their country as they had promised. It wasn’t looking too good for the brothers’ promise being that the president at the time, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was trying to avoid war overseas at all costs. But then, Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941 pushed Roosevelt’s last button and America declared war on the Axis Powers (Italy, Germany, Japan).

The brothers fought through dozens of battles side by side, never leaving each other alone for even a second. They had a couple of bumps, bruises, scrapes and cuts, but they always pulled through. They quickly moved up the ranks, one by one. Whenever they felt like quitting, they always thought about how hard their father and grandfather fought. They were some of the best soldiers in the whole World War, and they always finished a mission alive, and their comrades did too.

It is 1944 and the brothers are about to enter the biggest battle of their military career, D-Day.

“D-Day” is a term used for the landing of 160,000 allied troops in Normandy, France. The invasion also called “Operation Overlord,” involved five separate landings by American, British and Canadian troops and was commanded by American General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Stiff German resistance resulted in nearly 10,000 Allied casualties, but the Germans were ultimately unable to repel the Allied forces. The invasion involved 5,000 ships carrying men and vehicles across the English Channel as well as 800 planes dropping over 13,000 men in parachutes. A further 300 planes dropped bombs on German troops defending the beaches. Over 100,000 Allied troops made it to shore that day.

The brothers were running from their ship to the shore of the beach. They dodged bullet after bullet, with one hitting Mike in the foot. He could take it though, that was his first time. Just as the brothers were performing their famous “back-to-back” tactic, Mike heard a noise that would haunt him forever. The sound of his brother Richie screaming in agony. He didn’t have to turn to see what happened, he’d heard that scream before. The scream of a fellow soldier, his brother, being shot in the chest.

Without any other fellow comrades around, Richie and Mike were stranded. With Richie bleeding excessively and Mike doing the one thing he was trained not to do. Panic. He was frantic, he had no idea what to do and time was running out for Richie. With that happening, he decided to drag Richie into a safe position in some thick forest so nobody could spot the two. Mike did all he could do to stop the bleeding, but nothing seemed to work. He knew if Richie didn’t get help soon, he would die. Mike held a piece of torn shirt sleeve on Richie for a last chance at keeping him alive.

They stayed in the same position for 2 days; it was almost a miracle that Richie had not died yet. Then, the sound that they had both been hoping for the swishing of a Sikorsky S61 helicopter’s blades in the air. It was finally happening, they were getting rescued.

Later on in the barracks, the two brothers were talking with the beep-beep-beep of Richie’s heart monitor in the background. “You know Mikey, that was a pretty brave thing that you did back there,” Richie said.

“Ah man, don’t worry about it, you would have done the same thing for me,” replied Mike.

“What do you mean I would man, I probably wouldn’t have,” Richie said with a little chuckle.

“Oh that hurts man,” Mike replied with a little friendly jab to Richie’s shoulder.

“Well it doesn’t matter, man ‘cause you know what? We’re still alive. And that’s all that matters,” Richie said.

And with that being said, the two brothers embraced in a hug.

Richie was unable to continue in the service so he moved back to Chicago and had 5 children with his beautiful wife.

Mike had 2 children, but died in 1953 of lung cancer.


Alexander Brooks, a seventh grader, wants to study to become a lawyer.

Thanks a lot for the

Thanks a lot for the information about the essaywritings! It was a new thing for me