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.




Your friend, Paul


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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.

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