PRIVATE MALONE

DECEMBER 9, 1941

I sat with my best friends on the front porch of my house. We were still deeply in shock from what had transpired over the past few days. None of us could even ponder the reasoning behind such a horrific act; I figure we put the nail in our own coffin when we refused to give them any more scrap metal… They were just going to build bombs with it anyway.

So here we sat staring at one another, each of us wondering what President Roosevelt was going to do now that Germany, Italy, and Japan had declared war on the United States.

"You guys know what the next step is don't you?" Vance asked breaking our long silence. " This country isn't prepared to go to war… That means that the government is going to order a draft."

I felt myself scrunch my face up at his statement.

"Do not make that face at me Andrew…" he snapped, "I hope you know there is a very good chance of us getting drafted and sent over seas. And to do what? Defend our country? More like die needlessly. I am perfectly content to stay right here."

Rich looked at Vance with a bit of pity in his eyes, "Come on! You are nineteen years old, and you are still afraid of leaving Banksfield, Ohio? By now you should be ready to leave this hellhole and start a life of your own."

Vance fidgeted, "I never said I didn't want to get away… I'm just saying that I don't want to get sent over seas to get shot and killed."

James who had been quietly watching the drama unfold, sat up and placed his hand on Vance's shoulder, "Don't be so defensive… Nothing has happened yet, so lets all just try and get along. I thought we were all friends here?"

We all nodded.

"This is a difficult time for everyone right now… Lets all just try and respect each other's boundaries. Agreed?" James said.

We all shook our heads in silent agreement, now was not the time to be fighting amongst each other. We would get through this, all we had to do was to put what happened at Pearl Harbor out of mind and go on with life. That would be simple enough wouldn't it?