In this monologue, Mr. Capoli shares a war story with one of his history students.
MR. CAPOLI: Back when I was a young man, I had thoughts about becoming a priest. But I was called to duty to fight in the Korean War. Before I joined the other young men for departure, a sweet and pretty young lady named Margaret, came up to me and planted a kiss right smack on my lips. Boy oh boy, was that something. It made me rethink about becoming a priest. (laughs heartily)
But the world us young Americans were thrown into during that war, was quite something. One of the most frightening moments I had experienced was when I took position to take the enemy soldier’s life.
For all the training and target practice you experience in your boot camp period. Nothing prepares you for the actual moment. I was with a small group of men. Maybe five or six of us. It was our job to go into the jungle and clear a safe path for our brother soldier’s to come through. You can imagine the pressure one had to be out in the front there with only a few of your trusted behind you. I was walking out front with an older, more experienced man who was out Lead Commander. He noticed something up in the jungle. Until this day, I still don’t know how he knew.
He told us all to get down and take position. He looked at me and said, “YOU, Capoli, stay with me”. So there I am petrified as the Koreans are approaching. An entire army of them mind you. It’s to late for us to fallback because they were to close. We were forced to stay pinned in our positions.
Next thing I know our Commander lights a cigarette. He cups it behind the palm of his hand as not to reveal the flame to the enemy. He looks at me, “Want a puff?” I nodded my head no in panic. Him being calm made me even more scared. Now the Koreans were closer than ever. One of them was making his way right towards me and my Commander, my Commander told me to take aim and take out the enemy. So, I took aim…but…but I couldn’t pull the trigger. Finally, the Commander gave me a kick…