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Novermber 18, 1943

Note: this short story was included in a letter that Col. Fraser wrote.

Along the northern shore of New Guinea there is a small American Cemetery.  There among the palm trees and kunai grass rest the soldiers who lost their life in the New Guinea campaign.  I wish I knew the name of one of the soldiers there.  In my memory he is my unknown hero and the one who has impressed the eternal stamp of the soldiers faith on my heart.  During the earlier part of the fighting in New Guinea it was my duty to be responsible for the stragglers line.  One morning during an attack things were getting plenty hot and I noticed a young man running away from the firing line.  I stopped him and he cried, “God I can’t stand it any longer I’m yellow, I’m a coward.”  I quieted him and got him to talk to me.  He felt low and as he talked tears came down from his eyes.  He told of how much his family and sweetheart were counting on him and how he had failed them.  Then I tried to tell him that the battle wasn’t over, that there was still time for him to come through.  That God would give him strength to go back and die if need be on the field of battle for love, for hope.  He became quiet then and his lips murmured a silent prayer, which joined mine that he would go through to the finish.  He didn’t speak for a few minutes then picked up his rifle and steel helmet and went forward.  A few hours later I noticed him coming back on a litter; he was fatally wounded.  As I looked at his face I could see the smile as his eyes caught mine and if he could have talked I know what he would have said, “I am happy now – I have kept the soldier’s faith.  Love will live on, hope will remain, even tho my act on this transient stage is over I move on to join the army across the river, those who have kept the soldier’s faith.”

Capt. Powell A Fraser
US Army

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