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Now I Understand

Now I Understand
Billy’s Journey to Understanding Veteran’s Day

Once upon a time, there was a young boy named Billy Baker. Billy lived in the United States. He was fourteen years old and was an eighth grade junior high school student. Billy didn’t understand what the big deal about Veterans Day was.
One day, Billy’s history teacher, a woman named Mrs. Brown, asked Billy to come in after school. When Billy got to the room, he saw an elderly gentleman with a cane sitting in the room. Mrs. Brown introduced him as Mr. Jones. She said that Mr. Jones had served in the Second World War. He served with distinction in the Pacific Theater of Operations and won three bronze stars.

Mrs. Brown said he and Mr. Jones were going to go on a trip. The purpose of the trip was for Mr. Jones to help Billy understand what the “big deal” about Veterans Day was.

Mr. Jones and Billy arrived at the airport and got on a plane. After eighteen hours, the plane landed.

“Where are we,” asked Billy?

“We are in North Korea,” said Mr. Jones. “We are going to go to a North Korean junior high football game.”

When they arrived at the football stadium, Billy couldn’t believe what he saw. Korean soldiers and guard dogs were all over the stadium!

“Those are Russian guns the Korean soldiers are carrying,” said Mr. Jones. “They fire ninety rounds a second, so you are going to have to behave yourself.”

All through the game Korean soldiers walked around the bleachers. Billy sat absolutely terrified the entire game. He didn’t move a muscle.

After the game Mr. Jones said, “Let’s go get a hamburger.” On the way to the restaurant their car was stopped five times and searched by Korean soldiers.

Flying back home, Mr. Jones said to Billy, “I suppose you are wondering why a North Korean junior high football game is so much different than an American junior high football game.”

“Yes,” replied Billy.

“Let me try to explain,” said Mr. Jones. “The people of North Korea didn’t have soldiers that were willing to fight against the Communists so the Communists are in total control of the country. That’s why there were soldiers and guard dogs all over the stadium. That’s why our car was stopped five times on the way to the restaurant. It is all because the people of North Korea didn’t have soldiers that were willing to fight against the Communists.”

“The reason an American junior high football game is so totally different is because Americans had soldiers that were willing to fight against the Communists,” continued Mr. Jones. “This is why America is free. Veterans Day honors American soldiers who fought, died, and gave their lives in order to keep America free. That’s why Veterans Day is a ‘big deal’.”

As Billy and Mr. Jones said goodbye, Billy thanked Mr. Jones for what he had done for him.

About six months later, Mr. Jones got a phone call. It was from Billy. Billy said right after they got back from their trip he had gotten a volunteer job washing pots and pans in the kitchen at the Veterans hospital. They were going to have a volunteer recognition ceremony to honor all of the hospital volunteers. Billy was one of the volunteers that was going to be honored. He said everything would be perfect if both he and Mrs. Brown could come and see him get his award.

Billy went on to win many awards for helping veterans, and for the rest of his life he understood why Veterans Day was a “big deal.”

Written by: Gordan D., Echoing Hills Central Ohio

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