All Quiet on the Western Front
Dialogue story

Letter from paul

Dear Colby Mara,

Hello Colby Mara, I am writing you a letter to express my feelings about my experience of war. Over the past couple days I've seen way too much death and blood. I am writing to you to express my feelings. I have seen a lot of horrifying things fighting in this war and I have extreme PTSD from it. I’ve seen a lot of blood and death, and almost everyday I see a new person die. Every night before I go to bed I always think of what my future will be like, of course if I survive the war. I wonder if I am still going to see my friends and family again, and if so when.

Since I’ve seen all this death it really has turned me into a new man. I now have a mentality of killing and surviving like a savage. I am always alert 24/7 even when I go to bed I hear sounds like an air horn going off or someone screaming in pain. I can't stop thinking about what I just saw on the battlefield. I watch the Russian soldiers rot in their cells and then I feel horrible for not helping them. Watching them starve to death and not doing anything about it makes me feel evil. It's insane what I see all in one day of fighting. After every battle I have to go wash the blood and guts off my gun and uniform.

The main reason I am writing to you is that I don't want you to experience what I am experiencing. If there is a war in the future you can not be a part of it. If I ever see you again I am telling you now I will not be the same person as before the war. I have major PTSD from the war and that really damages my body, and it just keeps getting worse. Everyday I see and hear multiple things I wish I hadn't. Today, I saw  Russian soldiers die one by one in their cells due to hunger. What would you do in that situation, because I couldn’t do anything. I had to sit there and watch them each die. The sounds they were making while dying is something I will never forget.

Basically what I want you to take away from this letter is how bad my experience has been and I don't want you to have this experience in the future. I don't want you to feel bad for me, but I want you to think about how good your life is right now. Be grateful you are safe, loved, and happy because others are not and fighting for their life. I hope this war is over soon, so I can see you again and hopefully I'll be the same man I was before I became a soldier.

 

Sincerely,

 

Your friend, Paul

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The Fenn Voice

You do an excellent job of portraying the complexity of Paul's experience and the way the war has changed him into a different person, and perhaps a non-person.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)