...Boy was I tired. Joe thought as he remembered that day on the island of Oahu, the seventh of December... Pearl Harbor. He had gotten to bed late that night, about 1:42 probably... So when those torpedoes first struck, he barely had time to show any type of hesitation as his officer, Sergeant Jack Lauton, or "Gunny" as we called him, rushed him and his fellow Marines out of their beds and onto the deck of the ship.
If Joe was already mad about not getting enough sleep that night, he would become outright furious as he reached the deck, just to see his fellow brave Marines and sailors being shot up, murdered, by Japanese planes making a fiendish and cowardly attack. Even as many of them were being slaughtered, the Marines on deck were bravely trying their best to fend them off, armed only with their rifles. Immediately, Joe joined in on shooting those planes down, even after he was blown off the California's deck, blasting as many of the planes out of the sky as he could... All in anger... While his friends cheered, Joe had already felt the sorrow that Gunny had made them remember.
Joe was on his way to the Philippines to get his second experience, this time with the Imperial Japanese Army, a very ruthless enemy. Even with the savagery he would face, Joe had at at least something to be happy for, as he would meet another Marine stationed there, his close brother, Donnie.
Hey, sis, I heard you're getting a job at the local steel mill. You should know that's some tough work right there, you sure you can handle it. I know I gotta keep this short, so I'm just letting you know that I just arrived here at the Philippines, it's kinda like Hawaii, certainly not like back home in Mather. I'm hoping to find Donnie as soon as I can, cause I know how you're worried about him and how he quickly gets into danger. Hopefully, that means he's at least giving the Japs a hard time. I will do whatever I can to watch over and protect him, and even more so to bring him home.
Your brother, Joe
The minute that bell struck, Joe was on the move, rushing back down the stairs of the steeple and outside the church. He quickly looked around to see if everyone was still okay, and he got some relief as he spotted Donnie driving the M3 Stuart tan, and then Joe went over to the truck to meet with Gunny and then get out.
"Now you get in the back of this truck and shoot anything that moves," Gunny said in his usual stern voice once Joe reached the truck, "It's gonna be a bumpy ride."
Joe climbed himself into the back of the truck, aiming his gun out the back as Gunny got in the driver's seat, immediately speeding off once he turned the key. "Hold on!" Gunny shouted to Joe as the truck sped down the road, with Donnie following after them in the Stuart tank.
Soon enough, they had stopped... Just to find a Japanese machine gun emplacement stationed nearby. Joe blazed several shots at the nest, striking down the gunner... But what immediately took away his attention was that Japanese soldiers started swarming all around, aiming for the tank, and Donnie.
Frantically, Joe aimed and furiously shot down as many of the Japanese soldiers as he could, while he saw Donnie fending them off with his own Thompson. Still, enemy soldiers kept coming, and it just got worse once Gunny started driving the truck again. Japanese soldiers started to climb on the tank and converge on Donnie.
"Damn it, Marine," Gunny shouted as he looked back, "You make sure you and that tank reach the bridge before we light it up!"
No, no, no, Joe thought... But there was nothing he could do, and the last he saw his brother was being surrounded by Japanese troops... This view was then replaced when a Japanese tank, a Type 96 Ha Go, came in and started chasing them down the road. As the heated pursuit went on, with the tank spewing machine gun rounds towards Gunny and Joe's truck, Joe tried whatever he could to fend it off, throwing grenades, even shooting furiously at it, but the tank kept chasing them down the streets of the city.
Joe suddenly saw fuel barrels positioned in the streets, so he took aim and fired on them once the tank got close, blasting them apart in a fireball like too much lighter fluid on a grill. That seemed to do the trick, as the tank started swerving. Joe kept this up as the pursuit went on, and soon enough, the tank swerved from an explosion and crashed into a nearby building.
"Take out those Japanese!" Gunny shouted, as Japanese soldiers started appearing all around them.
Joe aimed and shot at Japanese troops in and around the road, shooting as many down on the streets and buildings. Gunny kept speeding down the road, passing some old houses while Joe kept shooting Japanese soldiers from the back... And as they rushed down the dirt path, they came upon the bridge itself, reaching the bridge's front, and meeting the demolition team, working to plant charges... Behind them, however, was a great mass of Japanese troops.
"Griffin," Gunny spoke, "Get out here and hold off the Japs while we rig the charges!"
Joe fired shots, gunning down as many enemies as he could until the demolition team was finished. As Joe provided furious cover, soon enough, the demo team had finished their work.
"Go, Marines, go, go, mission accomplished!" Gunny said to the team, "We got the bridge wire, now back to the truck, on the double!" The team immediately joined Joe in the trucks back as Gunny went back to drive the truck, and once he started to move down the bridge, Gunny ordered, "Blow those charges! Light 'em off!"
Japanese troops started coming onto the bridge to chase after American team... And unlucky for them, the demo men had set off the charges, blasting apart the bridge behind them. The exploding charges incinerated and blew away the pursuing Japanese troops, and the Americans' truck went down the bridge, with explosions occurring just behind them... Soon enough, it was the fire and explosives themselves that chased Joe and Gunny down the bridge instead of the enemy troops.
...But whether it was their desperation or just plain luck, they had driven themselves off the bridge right in the nick of time. Gunny drove truck down a pathway just as the bridge blew itself completely, stopping just a short distance away. Joe got out from the back and stood looking at back at the burning city... Even with their success, all he felt was sorrow, all he could think about was Donnie.
"Griffin," Gunny said to Joe as he stepped out, getting the Marine's attention, "At ease, lad," Gunny then started showing a somber state as well, placing a hand on Joe's shoulder, "...Listen, son, I'm sorry about your brother... We, eh, got a damn tough job and most of us made it out alive."
Joe and Gunny kept looking back at the burning city with sorrow, with Gunny speaking, "He was... Well, he was a good Marine... You can't ask for more than that."
Gunny walked back to the truck while Joe kept watching the city... Even though it was rather hopeless, Joe just had one thought of Donnie, You'd better be okay.