As I strolled along the riverside, the cream pearl path led me towards a stone bridge. Artists sat nearby, the men’s crisp moustaches added delight as each brush stroke swept across the canvas’s full of complimentary colors, adding life to the pink blossomed trees what danced delightfully by the river. The view was magnificent. ‘Great Grand papa lets play catch! ‘ ‘I’m tired Poppy, come and help me catch some fish my angel. ‘ ‘Okay Great Grand papa can I hold the net? ‘ These were some of the precious memories I have of my Great Granddad Jimmy, he was my hero.

Today was his birthday and I got my favorite fishing rod and sat at our favorite spot, the birds sang on high branches above me it was so magical. The sun shone brightly and made the freshly cut grass scent tickle my nose. The water ripples formed a calm layer on the rivers surface, this was a perfect day to fish. As the sun sneaked behind the clouds I decided to go under the massive oak tree nearby to eat my sandwiches. ‘Your Grandma has made us sweet Jam sandwiches Poppy, eat them all up. ‘ ‘Yum… My favorite, Grandma makes the best Jam sandwiches. As I finished my sandwiches the memories I had with my hero made me feel proud of the life I had. Although he wasn’t here to share the good days with me I knew he’d still be smiling. The sun tiptoed from behind the clouds to reveal its warmth again, I packed my lunch box back into my rucksack and was about to continue fishing when I was suddenly blinded by a radiant glow, as I placed my hand in front of my face to hide my eyes I was welcomed by an engraved silver box. I pushed the dirt what was surrounding it aside and placed it in my hands.

I slowly pushed the lid up when it suddenly flipped open. There, lay… 3 golden medals sitting elegantly in the silk lined box, the ribbon surrounding the two gold circled medals ND one star added color to them individually. ‘Grandpa why have you got a scratch on your face? ‘ ‘Don’t worry sweetie its from when Great Grand papa takes away all that nasty hair on his face. ‘ ‘Oh Grandpa you are silly, hurry and eat you sandwiches I want to play, I want to play… ‘ As I placed the three medals back into the box I studied the initials engraved on the box M…

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S… J… D ‘Master Sergeant Jimmy Deacon’. My Great Grandpa was really a hero! This was not Just his birthday but a day to make me believe in myself, chase my dreams and never regret a bad moment in my life. Just as I went to place the box into my rack sack I noticed a hole in the side of the box… As I looked inside I could see a cream and crisp rolled up piece of paper. As I opened it carefully I began to read… Dear diary, Although today was my last at serving in the army, the friends I have made will never be forgotten.

That also includes the ones lost along the way, we have all gone on a journey, exploring our strengths and improving our weaknesses. Missing my family is what hurts the most but knowing I will be holding my first great grand child for the first time makes the days go quicker. My wife is my strength and has helped me to keep together at such a traumatic time, losing my best friend was tough but with what we are expected to do each day there’s no time tort mourning, you Just nave to smile and hope your not next.

Forever wishing my days away to meet my little Poppy, she’s the miracle who also kept me strong. This new life added to the life I thought was going to end. Jimmy. ‘ As I read this piece of paper over and over I realized the medals really did belong to my Great Grandpa, the last words filled my eyes with happiness, I was the one who pet my hero strong and I was the life that helped to keep him going and not give up. I wanted to make my Great Grandpa proud…

As I placed the medal and diary paper into my rucksack I continued my Journey home, each step added excitement to my veins. Artists that was sat painting earlier had now gone and was replaced with restaurant owners giving out flyers for the people walking by. I smiled and continued my walk. As I looked up at the sky an airplane passing over made me think more about my dream and the decision I was going to make, my Great Grand papa was looking over me today and placed my ream right into my hands.

I didn’t want to be Just Poppy, I wanted to make my country proud and also my hero. As I entered the key into the door, I walked into my house and placed the box onto the table. I then ran upstairs and grabbed the application form. ‘Grand papa when I’m older I want to be Just like you. ‘ ‘Well Poppy… Whatever decision you make in life, make sure you’re always happy. ‘ These words will stay with me for the rest of my life. As I signed on the dotted line I was no longer Poppy but ‘Dame General Poppy Deacon’. It was now my turn to walk in my Grandpa’s footsteps, my Hero.