Jack Striker clutched his dog tags and said a silent prayer. He had never been much for religious observation, and heaven can tell you he has not been the best-behaved Christian, but just for a moment Jack whispered a silent prayer up to the Lord. He couldn't believe he got attached to the army for this! Jack felt unnerved not being surrounded by fellow marines. A sudden jolt of the landing craft snapped him out of his reverie, the cheap metal lander not being designed for the comfort of the soldiers embarked. Jace peered over the landing ramp, the only thing stopping the occasional stray bullet from removing the better half of some unlucky marine's cranium, and saw it: The Beach. Omaha was its designation, a grey ribbon of dismal sand, littered with tank traps, barbed wire and the occasional smoldering wreck of a lander that was a little too fast for its own good.
A sweeping look from side to side revealed a flock of other landers, too many to count, all trudging towards the killing fields ahead. The General said it was the biggest naval operation the world - 34 thousand men on Omaha alone. Jack had trouble wrapping his mind around the numbers given the 4 other landing zones. The familiar crack of a bullet passing too close for comfort pushed Jack's head back down. There would be plenty of time for getting shot at on the beach, no need to give Jerry a head start.
Jack spent what might be his last moments checking his Thompson. He checked the drum magazine, making sure there would be now jams. He checked the chamber and the barrel for detritus [no need to fire dirt along with his bullet, and there was no way in hell THE Jack Stryker's obituary would read 'killed by his own gun exploding']. Jack looked up from his pre-battle checks to watch the ramp go down, to hear his LT shouting nondescript profanity, and to see an pillbox directly in front of the lander light up, accompanied by the chatter of their MG42s.
Fortunately for Jack [and the world], he was in the back of the lander. As soon as the ramp shifted the first soldier went down, a kid named Donalds. Like dominos the rest fell, most of the soldiers not having time to react. Jack was not most soldiers. Marine instincts kicked in, and Jack grabbed the soldier closest to him and leapt over the side, figuring that cold water was better than hot lead.
Jack was temporarily stunned by the temperature change, so when he looked back up at the surface he saw his unwitting diving partner get ventilated, the bullets curving through the murky water, leaving trails of bubbles behind them. The soldier's blood spread in the liquid, blossoming from the wounds as the dead body shuddered its last. Jack did not intend to share that fate, and felt like the Bosch had some revenge coming, so he slipped deeper into the arms of his reflexes, acting on his dozen years of Marine service, barely conscious to the world around him.
Jack thrashed wildly, removing his pack and his gun and breaking the surface as fast as he could. Jack knew he had to get to cover as soon as possible, and finding a shell crater in the sand, he dashed into it, diving into it like a dolphin to dodge the bullets that were inevitably following him. Jack took a mental inventory. Gun? Gone. Ammo? Sunk. Squad? Dead. Germans? In need of a good thrashing.
Jack needed a rifle, and he needed one ASAP. There were dead bodies strewn all over the coast, so at least they were in good supply, but Jack did not think that those machinegunners would just let him saunter over and snatch a rifle off of a corpse. Like a lightbulb flashing on, Jack had an idea. He thought back to basic, fighting with sim ammo. He remembered his old friend Smitts, and his particular way of outfoxing his opponents. Jack chuckled to himself. The man was such a soldier he was still going to save lives even after his death in the Pacific. Jack removed his helmet (useless anyways, with the MG fire it would be slightly more useful than cardboard) and readied himself. The sound of a shell exploding a little too close was his impromptu starting pistol, Jack scrambled out of the right of the crater while tossing his helmet behind him, to the left. The helmet entered the pillbox's line of sight first, and Jack heard the sound of twisting metal and bullet impacts behind him. Jack smirked. It had been too easy. Jack continued his mad dash for a corpse a few feet away, pulled the rifle as hard as he could off of the bodies chest, snapping the strap holding it to the former soldier, and with his momentum maintained dove behind a tank trap slightly up-beach of his corpse-wise trajectory. Once again Jack was followed by the patter of MG fire. Jack didn't care. He was in the zone. He realized that the worst of the day was over. He was ready to earn his paycheck. He was ready to make the Nazis pay.
Jack steadied his breathing and got ready for his next move.