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War Opinion Letter

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My Dearest Darling Evelyn,

I love you so much. More than you can ever even begin to fathom. The day we said our vows was the happiest day of my life. Second only to the day your letter came telling me about the birth of our beautiful daughter Isabella. Seven pounds, eight ounces. I remember. Aren’t you proud of me for remembering? Please be proud, darling. No one is proud of me here. No one is proud of anyone fighting this pointless, pointless war.

Today I saw my first death. It was Adam. Yes, Adam from down the street. Adam from church. Amelia’s husband, Adam. He’s gone, Evelyn. He’s never coming back. God, he was so full of confidence. He thought he was going to be the last one standing. We all believed him too. Why wouldn’t we? He was always so strong. Even on the worst of days, he could find a reason to smile. I’m gonna miss him so much. How will the rest of the platoon get by without him? Why should I even bother going on, Evelyn? If Adam couldn’t make it through this war, none of us will. It’s over for me, baby. I’d rather die on my own terms than be brutally murdered by an enemy who doesn’t even understand why we’re here.

You see sweetheart, they told us at home that if we went into this war, we would come out heroes. They didn’t tell us that we would watch our friends and neighbors be blown to bits by hateful, wicked weapons of unimaginable force. They didn’t tell us that we wouldn’t be able to go home for our mothers’ funerals. No one said that we would be killing innocent people just because they lived in the same barely-habitable village as someone who might be Vietcong. No one told me that mothers would hand me their children strapped with bombs. Think about the look on a child’s face in that instant before the bomb goes off. Think of the desperation of the civilians. It makes me sick to my stomach. I can’t do it anymore, Evelyn. I’m not fighting for America anymore. I’m fighting for my sanity. Darling I haven’t slept in weeks and weeks. The dreams I have aren’t nightmares. They’re night terrors. I wake up screaming, sometimes sobbing, drenched in sweat that I can’t wash away because there’s no lake to bathe in nearby. All of my terrors are soaked in my skin. Even if I could wash them off, where would they go?

And after all that, no one is proud of us. I got a letter from a friend who went on R&R for a few days. He said he got spit on at the airport. Someone threw food at him and yelled obscenities at him. What kind of country do we live in? What kind of world is this, honey? I’ve killed people. There are people who have died; there are families who are in mourning because of a gun that I fired. I went through that mental torture for my ignorant, selfish country. I hope they’re happy. This is the end for me. Tell Isabella that I love her, and I wish I could’ve gotten to meet her. Don’t tell her about the horrors of war. Don’t let her ever find out. Protect my little princess no matter what.

Most importantly, Evelyn, please don’t ever doubt that you are and always were the love of my life. I don’t want to put you through the mental anguish that I’ve gone through when I get home. There’s a condition called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that would keep me from living a normal life after I got home. You have a brand new baby to take care of. You can’t be responsible for me too. I’ll be there looking down on you every single night. I’ll keep you and Bella out of harm’s way. But by the time you get this letter, it’ll be too late. The gun that my dad gave me on our first hunting trip is sitting right on my left. Remember? I had you send it to me because the ones that they gave us were so unreliable. America is also unreliable. But my dad’s gun was always there when I needed it. I love you darling, and I hope you and Isabella live a very happy and fulfilling life. I can’t wait to watch it from heaven.
All my love,
Michael



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KayGee said...
Aug. 15, 2011 at 8:32 pm
This is stunning and so emotional! You're a great writer.
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm
thank you sooo muchh! :)
 
JoPepper said...
Aug. 14, 2011 at 3:15 pm
That was so touching I loved it, I loved how you described the pain it felt so real!!!!!! :O
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 14, 2011 at 6:18 pm
glad you enjoyed itt! thank you for readiing :)
 
JoPepper replied...
Aug. 19, 2011 at 7:00 pm
No problem and keep writing!!!! :D
 
Ayushi_austen said...
Aug. 14, 2011 at 8:16 am
This really touched a chord...sitting so far away from wherever you might be..i could actually feel what you were feeling...this is awesome..god has given you this talent..harness it..god bless you..take care..
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 14, 2011 at 9:14 am
thank you so much, you made my dayy :)
 
Eno-Bladez said...
Aug. 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm
wow okay this almost made me cy it was really really good. it made me understand more of what a soldier sees.
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm
thank you so muchh! glad it gave you some insightt and I'm glad you enjoyed itt :D
 
renthead96 said...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 8:21 pm
While reading this, it brought tears to my eyes. Honestly. I've personally never had anyone close to me fight in a war, thank goodness, but the mere thought of all these brave people risking their lives for a country that barely recognizes their sacrifices and service really upsets me. The bits in the story describing the awful things the soldier witnessed each day were horrifying, and quite disturbing, yet I think including them in this piece was crucial to provide an understanding of what thes... (more »)
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 9:08 pm
thank you sososo muchh! i really appreciate itt :)
 
Livvy97 said...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 7:14 pm
Please look at my piece, Power of Pasta
 
Livvy97 said...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 7:13 pm
Hey, that was really good!!!! I love the story and it was a good historical fiction!!!
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 7:34 pm
thank you so muchh! :)
 
Livvy97 replied...
Aug. 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm
Yea, could you check out my pieces for me? (Maybe comment on a few.. if you get the chance)
 
white_chocolate97 said...
Aug. 2, 2011 at 1:23 am
This was such a great story. Very realistic. Good luck in getting it published!
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 2, 2011 at 9:04 pm
thanks so much for readingg! glad you enjoyed itt :D
 
SammyMarshall said...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm
what a wonderful story, you know how to write for sure, check out my story youll love it rate it 5 please thanks to all
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 4:53 pm
thankss! :)
 
SammyMarshall replied...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm
the story i wrote is still pending but when it comes out itll be a hit, nothing like yours though
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 6:20 pm
hope it will bee :)
 
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