Weeks go by without a letter.
While patrolling in the tank through the fields outside of St. Lo, France, Johnny looked up to see a bright orange ball, like a setting sun, heading straight for his tank. A German mortar shell hit the tank and blew it to bits and set it ablaze. Two of the men in the tank were killed, and Johnny and the fourth man were blown completely out of the tank and critically injured. The two soldiers who died were both married with children. Johnny always felt guilty that he survived, when he was single, and those men with families died.
Johnny landed yards away from the tank, riddled with shrapnel through the neck and chest, and his left thigh split open from hip to knee.
He felt his spirit leaving his body, rising up and leaving it behind. He said he could look down and see his body lying there in the green field in France, wounded, bleeding, dying.
Then the German soldiers came, looking for survivors. Two of them picked up Johnny to carry him away, and the toe of his injured leg caught in the dirt. The pain snapped him back into his body, to endure the pain of his injuries. He was taken to a German-run hospital in Paris and became a German Prisoner of War.