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Veterans Day Contribute ~
A Child’s Metaphoric Views Of A Soldier’s Mission

by Christine Andrews-Angelo

I am sharing this story to show my respects to our U.S. Veterans and
to current members of U.S. armed forces ~ Thank You.


I find social interactions with my 4-1/2-year-old son to be enriching. Constantly, we exchange thoughts and expressions. I foster his new experiences by way of connecting prior knowledge to new knowledge. My son is actively engaged in making sense of his world.
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The spring and summer of 2006 my son spent many afternoons with his neighbor and neighbor's dear friend. My son was inspired by their storytelling; therefore, he found he must share their stories with me as well. Here is how he describes one story to me.
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"Once, Fred (neighbor’s dear friend) lived in a foxhole. He had no clothes. He was naked. He had food in the hole. He sleeps in the hole. The bulls ran over his foxhole. The bulls did not hit him because they were his friends."
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I found the story to be intriguing so my son and I confronted our neighbor, to my son’s knowledge. Just then, Fred showed up. Here is how he describes the event.
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"During World War II, I walked France, Belgium, and Germany. Dug a foxhole where I napped. I wore the same piece of clothing for eleven months, my uniform. I ate k-ration, a dehydrated food. Bullets flew over my head. I wore the same shoes for thirteen months and when I removed my shoes, my socks had disintegrated. I lived the Battle of the Bulge."
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Once more, I asked my son to tell me the story about Fred. Here is how he describes.
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"Fred lived in a foxhole. He had clothes but he had to wear the same clothes. He had food but no stove. He lived in a foxhole and slept on a dirty ground. The bulls almost knocked his head off when they went over his foxhole. The bulls were not his friends. There are different color bulls but they were big black bulls. He did not come out of the foxhole -- that was the old days. In the new days, he came out -- like today."
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Days later, we spent time at our camp in the southern tier. I found a bullet on the ground so I picked it up and showed my son. I told him this is a bullet. It shoots out from a gun and about the story with Fred, when you heard the words Bulls he was really saying the word Bullets. This is a bullet.

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My son respond by not saying a thing yet he looked very confused
[My son knows about guns, has seen guns (game hunting) and has never owned a toy gun (yet).].
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In time, I will question my son again, especially about flying bullets or his bewildered look. Moreover, I will describe more in-depth the missions of United States soldiers and our nation’s values.

A Veterans Day acknowledgment by way of a child’s explanation or Metaphoric view of a soldier’s experience during the Battle Of The Bulge. Story includes social interactions with neighbor, soldier, and mother.
by Christine Andrews-Angelo, revised Nov. 11, 2010.

 
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