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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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NinjaGirl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 3:26 pm
I think that it's a great piece, and it could just be my overly critical opinion, but for some reason I think it seems slightly impersonal. Like someone else tried to write the letter FOR the man speaking. I know that's true. Hopefully you understand what I'm trying to say. It truly is good, don't get me wrong. But there's definitely some room for improvement.
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm
maybe its your state of mind when you read it, you know? like since you know its not written by the actual guy you can't immerse yourself as fully as you'd like to. and when i say you i mean it generally, not you specifically. you're not the first person to tell me that, so maybe i'm totally wrong, but its an idea lol. it helps me salvage some of my self-esteem :Pim glad you enjoyed it for the most part thoughh, thanks for readingg :)
 
kait.n said...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm
This is amazing. I got chills reading the last couple of paragraphs. Top ratings:)
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm
yaayy thank youu! it makes my day every time i hear things like thatt :)
 
TheSilverLaurel said...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 1:18 pm
this is great, really emotional. 5 stars :)
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 1:36 pm
thank you so muchh!
 
Arco_Sine said...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 10:26 am
I'll be constructive here. One thing I noticed is that you have a tone, but it isn't yours. I really feel like your voice is not the one that's coming through. I hear a voice that is more-so trying to be sure. Be confident in yourself, you're a writer which means you already have something to you. Also there is a point where drama becomes melodrama. Putting bad events into a story is great, but just piling them on makes it seem like you are trying way too hard to pull pathos from your reader and... (more »)
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 10:42 am
I'm not sure if I know what you mean by the tone thing. I mean I wasn't trying to make it sound like me, I was supposed to be a desperate man from the 1960s, you know? So I'm not sure if that's what you meant. And I see what you mean about piling on too many horrific events, I just thought that it would help get the point across about all the horrors of the real war. Maybe you're right though.
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 10:44 am
And sorry, I don't mean to be a pain, but where did I repeat myself? I'm not trying to be difficult I really do want to make it better.
 
Arco_Sine replied...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 10:54 am
"Today I saw my first death. It was Adam. Yes, Adam from down the street. Adam from church. Amelia’s husband, Adam." This is the general format for your repetition, it's the earliest example. This is what I meant by establishing rhythm. What's great about modern writing is that it's constantly striving to shorten itself. What I meant by the voice is a bit more personal. You want to make sure that the voice in YOUR head is indeed YOURS. Don't search for the voice of an english major or... (more »)
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm
oohh okay i gotcha. yeah the adam thing could have been done better. youre definitely right about that. and i see what youre saying about the voice now, but i think its fun to experiment with new voices. i have my voice. its not like i dont know who i am as a writer, i just like getting into the minds of other people who are completely different from me and seeing their perspective. its like being an actor or actress.
 
booklover04 said...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 7:08 pm
really cool approach to historical fiction. I thought it was a nice idea. Maybe next time you can add in some sensory details to make it more thoughtful and descriptive. nice job though!
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 11:07 pm
thank you! and i'll work on itt :) glad you enjoyed it thoughh!
 
shadowrider said...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 11:37 am
This is sooooo amazing! SO sad, SOOOOO moving! I absolutely loved it! I am soooo putting this as one of my favorites, and giving you five stars. Awesome job!
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 1:17 pm
yaayyy thank you soo muchh! So glad you enjoyed itt! :D
 
DarkenRose said...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 11:37 am
This was amazing but very sad, it's a great letter
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm
thank you so muchh! :)
 
writeamongthestars said...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 11:34 am
That's sad! But it's true that that war was a big mess. This is really good. :)
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm
lol, a huuuge mess :) thanks for reading!
 
TheGirlWithNoFace replied...
Aug. 9, 2011 at 2:49 pm
This is so touching! And crudely realistic. I love how you didn't try to soften anything, yet did so without exaggeration Keep up the writing! I can see that you definitely have a talent for it :)
 
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