Andrew, Age 15, Ashburn, VA

Cold and wet I sat in my boat, ready to go. The whistle blew and the hail of fire drowned out all other sounds; without thinking I quickly sprinted into the trench straight ahead of me. I looked back to see my friends still in the boat. “Move, get into the trench!” I screamed as they sat there unsure of what to do. I stood up and unloaded a hail of paintballs as they quickly dived into the trench by my side. Inside the trench we discussed what we were going to do to get up the hill. It felt like it took quite a long time to decide, but in reality it only took about a minute. My friend John stood up with our flag in one hand and his gun in the other, rallying the others to charge. While John sounded the charge, my two other friends, Killian and Lee, and I moved through the trench to the side of the hill so that we could prepare a sniping position. Once we were set, we began picking out targets and taking them out one by one. After getting our men about halfway up the hill, we joined them in the charge. For about five minutes we sat pinned down, right on the crescent of the hill top. I looked to my left to see four courageous kids trying to sprint over the hill to a small bunker. Two of them were cut down immediately, but the other two continued their vicious sprint through the mud and rocks.

The front kid hastily slid into the bunker while his friend was sliced down where he stood by another wave of paintballs. Hardly noticing, everyone else began sprinting into the bunkers and trees on the hilltop. Immediately Killian grabbed me by my ammo vest and dragged me over the hill. As we assessed the situation, John slid into the bunker and told us our other friends had been hit or had gotten separated in the charge. After about a ten minute firefight, we had taken the hill and now the battlefield was spread wide, leaving many gaps in the enemy line. Now we could make the final push and finish this battle.

After taking the hill, we pushed on towards the forest and the small fort hidden away within the trees. I rendezvoused with my team in a small bunker at the top of the hill. John couldn’t come to the rendezvous because he was leading the spearhead towards the fort. Killian and Lee were all I had left; we made a plan to move along the edge of the forest and sneak up on the fort. We low crawled for about thirty minutes through the brush to the rear of the fort. Killian and I set up security positions while Lee got out a grenade to lob into the fort. No one in that fort was left untouched by his grenade. We continued on towards the main base, a.k.a. Berlin, to finish the battle. This time there was no sneaking up on them. The base had at least fifty feet of open ground, with no cover between the woods and the fort. The shouts of our team came rushing over the hill, and in moments paint was flying and the action was all around us. Without thinking, I rushed in with the first wave, and dived for the wall of the fort. I made it with a few others; we waited for the next wave of men. Once we had an ample amount of our team against the wall, we stormed the fort taking up firing positions in their front towers. Both sides were taking heavy losses, but the battle continued to rage on at full force. After a long stalemate, we finally moved further into the fort and dominated at least a third of the fort.

The battle looked to be ending. Just when we thought we’d won, we discovered that the other team had sent a large group to sneak around and trap us in the middle. We were caught completely off guard; people were running in every direction getting gunned down. Killian, Lee, John, and I stayed in a small building in the center of the fort and held out to the last man.

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