Diary of a Lonely Soldier

January 27, 1942
Our platoon just arrived in Great Britain and the first thing everyone noticed was the destruction and devastation everywhere you looked. I have not been here a full day and I am already feeling homesick. Every soldier that was arriving just stared at the remains of what use to be a city. In the distance the sound of exploding bombs and artillery fire are like a scratched record that keeps playing the same noise over and over. As our platoon sergeants to ordered us to keep walking, you could see on our faces that each one of us were hesitant to take our first steps into the ruined city of Great Britain. After a file mile walk, we finally reached camp. The camp was a little out side London out in a little patch of trees on the countryside. I looked around and saw the struggle and pain of other soldiers who have been here much longer than I have. I made eye contact with a British soldier who was being carried off by medics who was missing one of his legs. We all knew what had happened, the mortar fire was everywhere.
After setting up camp for the night, Henry and I sat down in our tent on the thick grass of the countryside. We began to talk about things at home that we missed. I began the conversation by telling him how much I missed sitting in my parents family room listening to the Cleveland Indians game with my dad and my brother. He laughed and told me the most thing he missed was his mothers meatloaf. We both laughed for a minute and then his smile turned into a look of sadness on his face. I asked what was wrong and he told me his mom had passed 2 days after he was drafted. I then asked him about his dad and he said his dad left his mom when was younger. Henry told me the army is the only thing he has got. I cannot imagine the amount of the pain and suffering he goes through. I am extremely lonely right now but at least I know that if I am lucky enough to make it out of here, I have someone to go home to. I thought about all the things I have in my life and what I miss. I thought to myself how loneliness is like a wild fire, it starts small but quickly spreads and can affect a lot of people who are near it. All it takes is one sad story and soon everyone begins thinking about home and everyone becomes sad and depressed. Its been this way all day, the reality of not making back home and seeing my family again is starting to weigh heavier on my mind.

January 22, 1943

Its been a little over a year now and it seems to get harder and harder everyday. Saying that I am homesick would be an understatement. I would give almost anything to be back at home with my parents and my brother. I wonder if I will ever get another chance to go to lake and enjoy a day on the water with them. I used to be bored by going to the lake but now I would do anything to get back there. Everyday we wake up after sleeping in the mud the night before and begin marching towards the next town. I cannot honestly remember the last time I had a hot shower and a shave.

To me, the hardest part of being away at war is that I cannot keep in contact with anyone from back home. I think that they get my letters but I will not know until I get home because they are unable to write me back. I want to know what my brother Lucas is up to and if he getting taller than me yet. I want to know if mom is still making fresh muffins everyday, and I want to ask my dad how the Cleveland Indians are doing. I have written many letters and I have tried to keep in close contact with my friends but it is hard to find things to write about because they cannot relate to or understand a lot what I have experienced. This inability to understand what I am going through separates me even further away from my friends, making me feel even more lonely than before. During the days of what seems like endless marching through what used to be busy cities and towns I start to think about my family and friends. Since being over here I have gotten to know quite a few great friends who are great soldiers, but I have also lost some of those friends. I feel like I do not want to know anyone to well because it seems like whenever I become close friends with someone, they are killed shortly after. I feel like I am all alone out here.
May 7, 1945

The war is finally over and I am really excited to be going home . The time myself and the other soldiers have put into this war has saved a lot of lives. We have saved a lot of people including the concentration camps we have shut down and freed the prisoners. Even though my service has been lonely and frightening I can always remind myself that it was worth it because I have have helped a lot of people. I am so happy to be able go home and see my friends and family. Im going to be looking forward to spending my time home laying on my sofa and listing to the Indians with my dad. I have spent the last two years fighting for my life and one of the things that always kept me going was my family. I have made a promise to myself to never forget the pain and suffering that I have endured. I know that if I can last two year s in these conditions, then I can survive through anything. I cannot wait to say goodbye to the sleepless, lonely nights, where I would wonder if i would ever survive this terrible war. There were many times where I thought that I would never get a chance to see my family again and this scared me. I have always been scared of dying alone.

I know that I am not the only personal who struggled through these times. Every soldier thought about the ones they loved and missed. If you looked past the blood, sweat and dirt on their faces, you could see how lonely each and every soldier was. Although we depended on one another for survival, there was still a piece of my heart missing. That piece of heart is back in Rootstown, Ohio and it belongs to my family and friends. I am counting down the weeks until I am able to get that piece of my heart back. Without it, I feel like a there is a piece of me missing. I am excited to spend time with them and make up for all of the lost time.

April 30, 1945

I have been home for more than a month now and it is great to be home. I have spent time with my family and friends. I read in a newspaper today that the war is finally over and the troops will be coming home. Next week, the Cleveland Indians start their season and my brother, my dad and myself are going to sit in our usual spots in the living room and listen to the game just like we used to.

Although it is great to be back, there are times that I miss all of my fallen brothers who died during the war. I will never forgot the lonely nights of sleeping with one eye open due to the constant rumble of war in the background. I am getting more sleep not but I still feel lonely inside. Friends and family have asked me what war was like and I struggle to discuss it. It is hard for them to understand what it was like over there. I feel like when I left for the war a piece of my soul was left behind in states and now that I am now that I am back, I have realized that I left a piece of my soul back in Europe.





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