A story submitted for the November Monthly Mini Competition

I was honored to be selected as the winner of the October Monthly Mini Competition and had the opportunity to provide the new writing prompt of ‘Being Thankful’ for November’s competition to tie in with Thanksgiving month.  What makes your character(s) thankful or what would make them thankful if it’s something they don’t already have?

I invite you to submit a piece of flash fiction (up to 500 words) or poetry along this theme on the designated competition page.

Last entry date for this month is 24th of November and then people have between then and the end of the month to vote for their favorite, with the next competition starting at the beginning of December and the winner of this month setting the next writing prompt.  Here is my entry which I tribute to my father who served in WWII. (Read his story on my other blog).

An Interview with a Veteran

As the students entered the auditorium, veterans wearing uniforms adorned with ribbons and medals were assisted into front row seats.  A seat was left vacant between each.  The school assembly was about World War II and the veterans were an important part of the program.

Source: NPR News

Source: NPR News

“We are honored to have with us today five World War II veterans.  Five of your classmates have been selected to interview and prepare video diaries of the veterans’ stories.  Will the following students come forward and take one of the vacant seats up front next to a veteran,” announced Mr. Jones, the principal.

James Clark, Sandra Lee, Frank Wayne, Catherine Kelly and Shelby Brian all heard their name announced and took a seat next to one of the veterans.

For the next thirty minutes, the students watched a documentary film about World War II.  The veterans had strong reactions to segments that were vivid in their memories.

After the film, while most students returned to their classroom, the selected students and the veterans were taken to a conference room where they would have lunch and await their turn for the interview.

By the time it was Shelby Brian’s turn to interview, she and United States Navy Seaman First Class, John C. Hall had already become acquainted and had develop a good rapport.  The videographer gave them a signal to start and Shelby began by asking Seaman Hall about joining the Navy.

This is actually my father, John T. Ryan, US Navy

This is actually my father, John T. Ryan, US Navy

“I was 20 years old and working for a shipbuilder in Philadelphia.  It was early 1943 and we had been at war since the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  Many men wanted to join and I was no exception,” said Seaman Hall.

“What was your first experience in the Navy, “ asked Shelby?

“After all your paperwork, the Navy sends you to boot camp which is your training.  My training was at the Naval Training Center in Bainbridge, Maryland.”

“Were you assigned to a ship after boot camp,” asked Shelby?

“Before the end of 1943, I boarded the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-12) and that is where I resided for the rest of the war.”

USS Hornet (CV-12) August 1944

USS Hornet (CV-12) August 1944

“What was it like for you during the war,” asked Shelby?

“A carrier is a city at sea with many men working together carrying out orders given in war.  Every man had a duty that was important to the operation.  We depended on each other and we worked very hard.  We also spent a lot time wondering about the next battle,” said Seaman Hall.

“What battles did you participate in,” questioned Shelby?

“The USS Hornet (CV-12) has a honored history.  I was on board for all of it during World War II.   When you get the opportunity, look up the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot in the history books or that web you young people use today.  We received a Presidential Citation for our war record” remembered Seaman Hall.

Presidential Citation USS Hornet (CV-12)

Presidential Citation USS Hornet (CV-12)

“Thank you for telling your story today and for your service to our country,” finished Shelby.

NaBloPoMo November 2013

2 responses

  1. Reblogged this on IF I ONLY HAD A TIME MACHINE and commented:

    The voting is open in the November Monthly Mini Competition. Here is my submission again and you can get to the other stories through a link in my story. Please enjoy the stories and vote. I hope you like my story. To vote use this link http://elizabethfrattaroli.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/the-voting-is-open/