Belated Gratitude and a Free Veteran’s Day Story

a free Veteran's Day story

A little late but nonetheless quite sincere expression of gratitude to our Veterans:

Thank You for Your Service!!!

And here’s a treat for you all ~ a FREE Veteran’s Day story based on her father’s Army experience in WWII, from Vinnie Hansen.

Private First Class

1945

Private First-Class Mitchell Nelsen, 37773149, lay in the hull of a boat. To conserve oxygen, the new recruits had been ordered to lie down except to go to the bathroom. They were packed in, Mitchell thought, like the slaves must have been, only the soldiers had cots and wool blankets and weren’t chained. 

They had two and a half weeks to wonder what Germany would be like and whether they would ever see their families again. Sometimes they murmured back and forth, but often they retreated to their private sadness and fear, listening to the powerful engine that propelled them across the Atlantic to fight Hitler’s army.

Mitchell’s thoughts turned to his brother Cecile. Mitchell had three older half siblings and seven younger siblings, but only one older real brother. At fourteen, Cecile had run away from home, rode the freight train out to Montana and spent years working on various ranches, coming home only once before taking off to another ranch. It was not surprising that Cecile had ended up in the war. He’d spent most of it in England. But now he was in Germany. That idea comforted Mitchell.

He’d not planned to be here, wedged in on a cot. He’d quit working at a supply station in Provo, South Dakota, and had started to paint signs, losing his defense worker status. He’d thought the war would damn well be over before he was called to service. Instead, after training at Fort Knox, he shipped out from New York. Even though he was twenty-six, he’d never been far from home.

When Mitchell’s wife Aberdeen gave birth to Jazz on February 2, 1945, an officer informed Mitchell that this fourth child exempted him from service.

a free Veteran's Day story -- "Mitchell's" Purple Heart

“I came this far; may as well keep going,” Mitchell said.

He couldn’t bring himself to tell the officer he had only four cents in the pocket of his uniform and no way to go home. 

Now to avoid the enemy, the ship zigzagged across the Atlantic. But a German U-boat could maneuver right under them, and he’d never see his new baby girl. 

The stick across the center of the folding cot prodded Mitchell awake…READ MORE

Does your family have a Veteran’s Day story? Please share in the comments.


Vinnie Hansen is a retired English teacher and award-winning author. Her mystery series, the Carol Sabala mysteries, is set in Santa Cruz, California, where she lives. She has also written many short stories and a stand-alone novel, Lostart Street, a story of mystery, murder and moonbeams.

Misterio press produces an array of quality crime fiction. We post here twice a month, usually on Tuesdays, to alert you to new releases, to entertain, and to inform.

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