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A Day In The Trenches

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Journal Entry of a WWI soldier;

January 13, 1916

It is so lonely here in the trenches. I am damp, cold, scared and hungry. I dreaming of the day I get a warm meal. I dream of the day I will see my family again. The dream of seeing my beautiful wife and little boy is the only thing that keeps me going.

I am comforted little by the other men here with me. We are all soldiers and brothers but while they offer conversation, I don’t feel I can get close to them. I have learned the hard way that developing relationships during war only leads to hurt. We are losing so many men. Sometimes their dead body lies beside us for days until it is recovered. Some men don’t die quickly and they lay in pain and misery. Sometimes I feel guilty for being a survivor.

The hunger only makes the loneliness worse. I dream of warm home-cooked meals, instead of the cold stale rock-like biscuits I have packed in my bag. I try to tell myself to be thankful, but it is so hard. I know that each bite I have of each meal may be my last. I may starve to death or I could die at the hands of the Germans.

Lack of sleep plays into the loneliness too, sometimes it makes me delirious. This is added to by my wet clothes and mud that covers me from head to toe. I try my hardest to keep my feet dry but it is almost impossible. I have heard about trench foot and it is not something I want to get. I feel and smell horrible as I have not bathed in weeks. There are also rats everywhere. They run along the trenches too, sometimes I laugh thinking they are here to keep me company…but then I realize they are as hungry as I am. But they are tolerable compared to the lice. These dreaded creatures are in my hair and clothes. I itch over every inch of my body.

The German’s poisonous gas has become my worse enemy. Shells release multiple colors of gases but these rainbows in our murkiness are not a symbol of hope but of death. We spew and sputter, gasping and grabbing for our masks. Sometimes the misery is so bad I think I should just breathe it in and face the reaper but then I close my eyes and see of the faces of my family, taste her warm meal and hot coffee, smell the sent of the fresh cut flowers on the kitchen table…and I keep fighting on.





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