By Emily B.
Grade 7, Pennsylvania

Ed was 18 when the war began, and enlisted for the marines immediately when it started. Unmarried, he felt free to leave home, even without his family knowing! Ed persuaded his father to sign his papers, and he left the house. When the tests were all passed, he was told he could be accepted immediately. So, without even the notification of his grandparents and father, he was into the marines. Six months later, EdĂs guardians received a call from their boy. They learned that he had been with the marines for the past six months. A year later, Ed returned home for a period of time before he was off again. His grandmotherĂs reaction to his appearance was anything but welcoming. She was not worried or frightened, but embarrassed that he had been training to run the radar set instead of overseas! Being American, Ed believed Hitler to be the worldĂs worst man. Gratefully, he never suspected that anyone he knew was a spy. If he ever did, from the way Ed felt, I donĂt think that that spy would stick around for long. However, he did know a few deserters. To him, they were on the same page as Hitler. Those deserters were looked down on by everyone else in the service. They were considered terrible betrayers. Ed probably would have chosen to swap the deserterĂs lives for the lives of his two good friends, Tom Kennedy and Jay Dolan, who did not make it out of the war alive. Tom Kennedy was shot down in battle. Jay DolanĂs ship was sunk. Though Ed mourned their deaths, he admitted it is part of being in the service. He thankfully was never in extreme danger, so was never frightened or injured. Although, many years later, to make the war seem more interesting to his children, he told a few lies. No, he never received a welcoming bayonet through his wrist. Besides learning respect, responsibility, and having the best uniforms, other ˘goods÷ came out of being in the marines. While most of the country suffered from rationing of sugar, gasoline, tires, meat and other goods, marines received all the good food they desired. Ed and his fellow soldiers ate an assortment of canned foods, such as corned beef. However, spam was not necessary. They even happened to ˘retrieve÷ (steal) a refrigerator containing many foods, including ice cream! For fruit, cantaloupe seeds were found and planted. Although there was no milk or eggs, powdered milk was available near the end of the war. Marines obtained better food than anyone else during the war.

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