Hero

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is one of my first stories I wrote, I found it while digging through old things. The term hero in my eyes is someone who says they are going to do something great, then they do it. Setting a goal and making it at all costs. In the end, even the smallest can be heroes.

Submitted: May 07, 2015

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Submitted: May 07, 2015

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“Grandfather,” the young boy asked “are you a hero?”
“What do you mean?” the grandfather asked back.

“You were in the big war right? I heard that soldiers are heros. So are you a hero?”

The grandfather froze for a moment and smiled at the boy. “No, I am not a hero.”

The boy looked confused “I heard that you were, that you fought for our freedom.”

The grandfather laughed at this “No boy, I am no hero, no soldier is a hero.”

“But grandfather-” the boy was cut off

“We go into war, thinking we are fighting for our freedom, but when we get there, we no longer fight for what is right.”

The boy didn’t speak, he was interested now.

“When I signed up for the war, I thought I was fighting so you could sleep in peace at night without anyone harming you, but when I got there, I fought to stay alive, I fought for me. What kept me going was my fear of death and my want to survive, not the need to keep us safe.”

The boy sat for a moment with his head down. “So you didn’t care about us?...”

“When you are in the heat of battle, the one thing on your mind is kill or be killed. I saw many friends die and made new ones just to watch them die as well. I was lucky, but undeserving. So no, I am not a hero. I am a coward in a lions clothing, hiding behind the facade of honor and glory. I came home to see that your mother and grandmother were safe, and all I thought was ‘I did it for them’ when really, I did it for me.”

“Grandfather…?”

“Yes?”

“Is my daddy a hero?”

“I am afraid, no soldier is a hero. We no longer fight for what is right when we are out there, we fight for us, and our survival.”

The boy sat still for a moment, sniffling.

“But there is one thing. It doesn’t matter if any of us are heros, it is all a matter of perspective. I might not be a hero in my own eyes, for I killed in the hope to survive, but all that mattered to your mother and grandmother, is that I had made it home, and I had been part of the effort to save this country.”

“Grandfather…?”

“Yes?”

“Did you sign up with the intention of doing good?”

“Well, I suppose I did.”

“Well that is all that matters, you might not have done it the right way, but you went in thinking you were gonna save us, and you came out the winner. You might have done it for yourself, but you signed up thinking it was for someone else, and in the end, it was.”

“I suppose you aren’t wrong.”

The boy climbed into his grandfathers lap and snuggled with him “You were a hero in the beginning and you came out a hero in the end. What happened in between is just what it came down to.”

As the boy drifted to sleep in the grandfathers steady rock, the grandfather had whispered “Goodnight my young hero.”

 


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