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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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This article has 172 comments. Post your own!

chocolatechic said...
Jun. 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm:
First of all Viet Cong. That was just bothering me. This was great! I think the highlight was how you described Adam. All the descriptions were great. I feel like the last paragraph could use some revision. It's good, but not as good as the rest of the piece. You also might want to whip out Google and do some research if you haven't already on what happened to soldiers when they came home from war. I don't remember when, how, or anythign but I think it was around this time that soldiers would ge... (more »)
 
chocolatechic replied...
Jun. 28, 2011 at 5:18 pm :
... Stupid history teacher -_- I feel really stupid right now
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 13, 2011 at 6:22 pm :
lol well someone else just said that viet cong was two words so now i guess we're even :P 
 
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ritabelle511 said...
Jun. 18, 2011 at 1:47 pm:
Wow. Just, wow. This is an amazing and emotional piece of writing. Should've been in the magazine. You are a fantastic writer! :)
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 18, 2011 at 3:36 pm :
yaaayy thank you so muchh! :)
 
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CheetaPrint said...
Jun. 17, 2011 at 11:20 am:
Daaang. This is so full of emotion and heartbreak, but it was also amazing. I didn't even know half that stuff went on in the Vietnam war. I think this should definitely be published; the only part that confused me was when he called the war "pointless." It makes me wonder if he always thought it was (and then, why he's fighting in it in the first place), or if he only thinks so after seeing how horrible it is. Again, great piece!
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 17, 2011 at 11:17 pm :
michael says its pointless because in real life before soldiers went into the war, they were told by their teachers and the government that being a soldier was this admirable thing that was going to make girls fall at their feet and make the rest of their lives so much better. no one told them about all of the bad things, so they all (like michael) went to war hoping to come out heroes, not realizing that they were going to see so many deaths, or even die themselves. but thanks for reading,... (more »)
 
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Tink1350 said...
Jun. 15, 2011 at 5:51 pm:
Well, I told u id read it. It made me cry. Im speechless. Thank you for writing that.
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 15, 2011 at 8:54 pm :
hehe youre welcomee :) and thanks so muchh<33 ill read yours as soon as i get a chancee :) cant waitt!
 
Tink1350 replied...
Jun. 16, 2011 at 10:52 am :
:) You should write more letters like this. Your a great writer. :):):):)
 
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CarrieAnn13 said...
May 29, 2011 at 10:52 pm:
This letter really captures what soldiers who went to Vietnam thought about war.  They came back knowing they would never really be able to live a normal life again.  This sounds like a letter that was really written by a young man in Vietnam.  You're an excellent writer and this letter should have been put in the print magazine.  Excellent job!
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 30, 2011 at 9:55 am :
Thank youu! I wish I knew what I could've done to make them want to put it inn :/
 
CarrieAnn13 replied...
May 30, 2011 at 7:22 pm :
They wouldn't put it in the print magazine because it's too politically incorrect.  It's a good piece of writing, but the message is too controversial probably.
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 30, 2011 at 9:22 pm :
:/ idkk. i would have thought that they might put it in because it was a little on the controversial side. guess nott :/ oh well
 
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Deepsi said...
May 23, 2011 at 8:54 pm:
This is so sad, and yet so beautifull written. Great job!
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 24, 2011 at 4:47 pm :
thank youu!
 
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beth123 said...
May 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm:
What a fabulous article...so incredibly well written.  If you keep this up you will be a famous novelist one day!  Great Job!
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 23, 2011 at 2:56 pm :
thanks! i really appreciate itt :D
 
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taylorf463 said...
May 22, 2011 at 10:45 pm:
That was great. For real. I loved it. It had such emotional impact. It's like you were standing next to him, watching him write but unable to do anything. You saw this poor man's thoughts and emotions but were stuck in place. Your ability to put emotion in words is excellent. Although at some points he seemed too upbeat for what it's about. Maybe it was sentence structure, I don't know. But I'll try and give this piece six stars even though I don't think it'll work! Haha! Great, great job! :)
 
PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 23, 2011 at 2:41 pm :
thanks so mcuhh! just to be clear thoughh, which parts do you think sounded upbeat?
 
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soccergoalie6 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 19, 2011 at 3:59 pm:
I'm crying! :( that was amazing! i really got into it and that's why im now crying! good job!
 
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