William Hayes, guest writer

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January 15, 1944

“No that’s a foul! You have to keep your arms straight up or it’ll be a foul on you.” Richard Evans emphatically reminds his young pupil, a young African American boy named Bill.     Richard is a 24 year old police officer in the greatest city in the world: New York. He has been giving private basketball lessons to Bill for a few months as a favor to his father, Charles Russell, who works as a janitor at city hall.

“But coach, how can I block everyone’s shots if my arms are straight up?” Pondered the young prodigy.

“Bill if you just trust what I’m telling you you can become the best basketball player this world has ever known.”

“Aight coach, I’ll trust you just this once.”


April 18, 1944

Richard Evans is the youngest, most daring officer in the entire city, but has been known to let his arrogance get him into trouble. One day, while patrolling for hooligans, Richard spots a few guys loitering in an alley way. He decides to stay close to see if it could be a drug deal, after a few minutes Richard notices one of the men pull out a large brown bag. Naturally, he gets out of his squad car and heads towards the hooligans but decides he doesn’t need any backup.

“What’s in the bag?” asks Richard. Everyone in the alleyway is speechless at the sight of the officer when all of a sudden, Richard receives a hard blow to the back of the head and goes down. The next thing he can remember is a shadowy figure coming out of nowhere to fight off all the attacking hooligans. Richard can’t believe what he is seeing, “Who are you?” The officer asks as he staggers to his feet.

“My name is Steve Rogers, I’m a captain in the United States’ military. I’ve come to offer you a position in the army. We’re searching for young capable men such as yourself and considering your experience as an officer we thought you would be a perfect fit,” replies the man.

“What would I be doing?” Richard replies.

“We are preparing to take back France from the Nazis, but we need more men with experience. So after your training, you will be immediately promoted to corporal and lead a team of twelve in the invasion of France. We have already contacted the Chief of Police about this and he said you would be a tremendous fit.” says Steve Rogers.

“This is obviously a lot to take in, but if all of this is true then I will gladly your offer,” Richard says, not fully realizing the magnitude of what he just heard.

“Great, take the rest of the day to get your affairs in order. Tomorrow we will send a car to pick you up and take you to a military base, located about thirty miles away from the city.”

After six weeks of rigorous training, Richard was prepared for combat. They were scheduled to invade Normandy in seven days. As the date grew closer, Richard thought he would be nervous but instead was almost excited. He knew the dangers he faced, and he didn’t care. To Richard, this was his chance to prove himself.

Once Richard arrived in Europe with Captain Rogers and the rest of their team, they spent two days going over the plans and preparing for all possible scenarios. The day before the actual attack, they were taken to an aircraft carrier about a mile off the coast of Normandy. From there, they would be able to launch their all-out assault.

The morning of the invasion, Richard woke up to the sound of steel-toed boots against the metal floor of the ship. For a brief moment, his excitement was replaced with sheer terror. For the first time, Richard began to comprehend the immense danger ahead of him. He started to panic until Captain Rogers burst the room and yelled, “Rise and shine, Corporal! We’re meeting upstairs in one hour to deploy for the beach, hope you’re ready,” he left as suddenly as he entered, with that Richard forgot about his terror and began preparing for the madness that would follow.

When all of the soldiers had gathered on the main deck of the carrier, they were ready to deploy in the landing crafts. Richard and his team were paired with Captain Rogers and. his team in the same landing craft, because it was able to hold up to 36 men. After departing for the beach, there was not a single word said the entire trip. Not even Captain Rogers, who’s usually as upbeat and energetic as anyone Richard had ever met.

They hadn’t made it to the beach yet when the bullets started flying by the landing craft. When they hit land, the driver pulled a lever which caused the front wall of the craft to lower to the ground. Immediately, all the men on board rushed forward towards the first thing they could find to take cover behind. Before any of them were able to even get off the craft, the bullets rained in from the German defenses. The first few rows of men went down instantly, following them a few were able to get on the beach, but about two thirds of the men on board the landing craft were killed before stepping foot on the beach. Richard knew he had no time to spare so he followed the lead of Captain Rogers and bolted forward onto the beach. From there, he and the remaining members of his team took cover in a small trench.

They were at that spot for what seemed like eternity, listening to the bullets fly by over their heads. Finally, Captain Rogers was able to get the men to try to advance further up the beach. As soon as they began sprinting forward, Richard felt a sharp pain in his thigh and fell to the ground. All the men kept going except one: Captain Rogers, who stayed behind to help Richard back into the trench. The Captain was doing everything he could to help Richard’s leg, but he had no medical experience and wasn’t sure what to do. Luckily, a medic was nearby and heard Richard’s cries of agony. “He’s gonna take care of you now, I have to go back. Good luck brother,” Captain Rogers said to Richard as he dashed away towards the rest of his men. Richard was not sure how bad his wound was but did know he was losing a lot of blood. He wanted to ask the medic about the severity of his wound, but he was overtaken by darkness.




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2 Responses to “1944”

  1. Carter Miller on May 6th, 2016 8:39 am

    William, I am proud of you bud. This is an amazing story and I couldn’t stop reading it. I wanted to read it over and over because of the, intense and fast paced story line, interesting characters, and surprising ending. Good job Bill


  2. Paul Attle on May 6th, 2016 9:56 am

    Your story is well written. I like the subject of the story and the characters.


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