My Name is Eliot Carlson | Teen Ink

My Name is Eliot Carlson

April 7, 2014
By Lovely346 BRONZE, TUCSON, Arizona
Lovely346 BRONZE, TUCSON, Arizona
2 articles 30 photos 56 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When the power of love overcomes the Love of power, the world will know peace"


My name is Eliot Carlson, I'm a 20 year old male who was drafted into World War l. The Date is October 21, 1916. I’m not for sure on why I am writing this letter or what I shall ever do with it. All I know is that thousands are dying at every glance I make. Therefore, I thought I would write a quick letter to whomever shall find it. I bet you are wondering why I am not writing this letter to my family or a loved one. To answer your unspoken question I will tell you that my parents died as a child; which left me to take care of my little sister Annabelle who was 6 during that time.

When I was 17 Annabelle was taken from me and put into a foster home. I spent years trying to find her but there was no hope. I haven't seen her since that day, I would have kept searching for her but I was drafted at the age of 19. Since then I have been fighting for the Allies, forced to kill, forced to fight for my life. Fighting for the hope that one day I will see Annabelle once again.

Currently I am living in a fairly large tent with 20 other men, most of them as young as I. Half of them are timid and keep to themselves, the other half are tough and unafraid. I’m guessing the timid ones were also drafted as I was, the others must be volunteers. Anyways the living conditions here are very harsh, we don't have warm sleeping bags like some of the others. Nor do we have beds, we are forced to sleep on the cold, hard floor. Then wake up in the morning with all kinds of bugs on top and under the one blanket each of us received. As for the smell.... I live with 20 men; that alone should tell you enough.

Our living conditions aren't nearly the biggest of our problems. We are living near a battlefield, all but one of the men sitting in dead silence; as the war rages on outside our tent. Our tent fills with the sounds of gun shots and the cries of men. Men who once were strong and brave; men who never shed a tear even when there good friends were killed. Each of us just waiting, waiting for our tent to be dismissed to take our places onto the battlefield; to kill or to die. My body has numbed with the thoughts of the pain that may come to these men and those of whom they love. Nowhere to run, nothing left to do but to sit here and prepare ourselves for the unknown.

As I sit I wonder, why this did happen to me. Why have I lost everything I've ever had? I thought I was a good person; yet I lost my parents when our house burned down. Years later the last person I ever cared about was taken from me. What have I done to deserve this life I've been forced to live? All that my future beholds for me now is death. Though, it is possible I will live after the war. Yet there wouldn't be much point in that, what’s the point of living when I’m already dead inside? I had never imagined my life to be the way it is today.

Poisoned gas, machine guns, mortar bombs; I wonder what way of death would hurt less. Poisoned gas would shut down your lungs and you would have to suffer an agonizingly slow death. Machine guns would put a ton of holes in your body, depending on where the bullets hit you; it would either be slow of fast. Mortar bombs would just blow you up, death would probably be faster than most of the other weapons. Yet, if I die I don't want them to only find pieces of me. My only option here is to have faith that I will get out of this alive.

I don't understand why war even exists, we are all humans on this earth. Why kill your own family? If I had the choice I would just walk away right now, I don't wish death upon anyone. Why must men be so violent towards each other? I look around at these men; a few of them are smiling, talking among themselves and playing around with their weapons. As if they are unaware of what they are about to march into. It’s almost like they are welcoming death, like an old friend. Strangely, seeing smiles on their faces brings me a sense of peace; it gives me hope that everything will be okay in the end.


If I die, I don't want to die feeling sorry for myself. Therefore, in my last moments; starting now, I will push aside the fact that I may not be here in a few hours. Instead, I replace those thoughts with the memories of all the good times that my family had; when we were still a family. I remember when my parents would wake Annabelle and I up at midnight; some nights. We would sit on top of the roof and watch the stars fall from the night sky. In those moments, I had never felt such a peace in my life.


Suddenly I am thankful for the time I had with my family. I am thankful that I had such good parents, they were my heroes. I then realize how strong I really am. My parents had shaped me into the man I am today, without them I wouldn't be a soldier. Not only a soldier of war but a soldier of life. Suddenly a man came in the tent “Soldiers, Its time to take your places on the battlefield; God Bless and may the best of luck be with you."



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