Chapter 1

The Gift

The squad of infantrymen is crouched down, peering across a huge soccer field. German soldiers are looking back at the Americans through binoculars, each waiting to see what the next move will be.

Behind the Germans is a building that looks like a hospital or an institution of some kind. The Americans are amazed to see the Germans talking to a young girl, perhaps five years of age. They see the German soldiers place something in the girl’s hands and point toward the Americans.

The blonde haired, blue-eyed little girl starts to skip across the field toward the astonished American GIs. The girl has a blue beret on her head and she is laughing as she gets closer and closer to the American soldiers. Suddenly, one of the soldiers cries out, “Sarge, she’s got a grenade in her hands.” Other soldiers, focused on the Germans, see them laughing and pointing toward the Americans. The sergeant gasps as he hands a sniper rifle to the squad’s sharpshooter and says quietly, “Take her out.”

The shooter sights the little girl as sweat pours from his face. With tears in his eyes he shoves the rifle back into the sergeant’s hands. “I’ve got a five year old of my own, Sarge. I can’t do it.”

The little girl is now 25 yards from the crouching men. The sergeant puts the rifle to his shoulder. He instantly realizes that in another few seconds the girl will take her fingers from the gift the German soldiers have asked her to deliver to the Amis and they will all be blown to heaven.

As his finger reaches for the trigger, the girl suddenly trips…the grenade explodes, instantly tearing her little body into shreds. The American squad races across the field, wiping out the German position, killing all the German soldiers they had been facing. Only then, with tears in their eyes, did they start investigating where they were…Hadamar.