Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Letters From a Soldier - Part Two

Well, a little later than I wanted, but here's part two of my short 'series', Letters From a Soldier.
I know it's not the most exciting thing ever, but I still hope you enjoy it!

(While writing this, I imagined it being sometime during WW2.)

My darling Linda,

I must start off by telling you, sweetheart, how much I miss you. Being apart for so long has made me realize just how much my love for you is. I, as always, was glad to hear from you and enjoyed reading your last letter very much.
I must get down to business. We are anxiously awaiting word on our next attack. I cannot divulge any details, Lindy, but I can say that this battle will likely incur plenty of deaths. I do not wish worry upon you, but I feel I must inform you of the chance that this could be my last letter written to you.
Strangely enough, I am not scared to die. I will fight to the end for my country, the land I love. My only regret will be leaving you behind. You do not know how much I want to be home with you. I miss you and love you more than words could ever say. I'm sorry for the rather short length of this letter, but I must go now. Remember how much I love you, Lindy.

With love,
Robert Danton

Soldier writing a letter during World War 2

“Letters were a great comfort. And the mail was indispensable. We couldn’t have won the war without it. It was terribly important as a motivator of the troops. Mail call whenever it happened was a delight.”
-Paul Fussell

Now, here's a real letter written by a soldier in WW2, less than a month before D-Day. Sadly, this was the battle in which he was killed.

May 9, 1944


The invasion, I read, is a topic of daily conjecture among the people at home and I guess you are a mite worried. Well, sweetheart, don't worry, please. It is possible I may be a member in the assault but no more possible than that I may someday day. It is God's will darling, to which we all must bow, and His will be done is a daily admonition we make. I don't hold with the 'theory of the inevitable' school and so you may be sure that I won't invite disaster in any form. In prep school we had a quarterback who always qualified his pre-game players with the phrase, "Not my will, God, but Thine" and so it is sweetheart and so it must always bewe must trust our God unflinchingly, unquestioningly. But enough of this heavy stuff... School's out.

I love 'em all but Polly best of all

All right, last letter coming up in a couple of days, and then the Fourth of July post!! I find it difficult to explain, but I LOVE patriotic holidays sooo much! :D

Have a blessed day, everyone!

~Livi Jane 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Letters From a Soldier - Part One

All right everybody, I have to say (again) that I am so sorry for not having posted in over a week! It seems life just keeps getting busier and busier!

I know my last couple of posts have been military-based stories, So I'm just going to continue that trend leading up to the Fourth of July with a short series I'm titling Letters From a Soldier.

The title pretty much says it all, but after doing some research and reading real letters written by soldiers throughout different wars, I wrote some of my own. Not sure how interesting you will find them, but hopefully they will be enjoyable to read.

My letter:

Dearest Mother,
I’m certain you expected a letter like this sooner or later, and I am ashamed to have to admit these words to you, but I must. I now wish I had paid heed to your words before running off to join the Union Army. I was so blinded by the stories and tales of war; in my head it was a glorious thing. Now, as we prepare to go into yet another battle, our stomachs are empty, and most of the men who aren't sick spend their time complaining and arguing. I cannot say I blame them, for the hardships of war has tired them to no end, and we are worn out. We have not eaten a full meal since the previous day. I am tempted sometimes to complain myself. Living such a luxurious life before coming to war has not helped prepare me for these such hardships. Many of my companions have already had so little all their lives. It saddens me greatly that many do not even know how to spell well enough to send letters home. I am glad I was able to learn so well, for now I spend many a night assisting the others with writing their friends and family.
Back on topicI've strayed a bitkilling other men, some boys just like me, has not been all I've dreamt. I am not proud that I once was aching to do such a thing.
As much as I wish to be home now, with you and little Charlotte, I know that I have made my decision, and my work is here for the time being.  
And as I fight, I will try to remember the verses from the Holy Bible you gave me just the morning before I left to join up. I have not forgotten them. I must have courage, and not be fearful of the things that may happen. I must remember that our God is with us always, leading our way and lighting our path. I will return as soon as He allows it.

With all my love, your son,
Jared McCloud

(Sometimes soldiers described battles, but more often they wrote about their daily existence and desire to be at home. Confederate soldier John Sweet of the 9th Tennessee Infantry wrote home to his parents in November 1863 from siege lines overlooking Union troops at Chattanooga, Tennessee:

We have just returned from a trip into East Tenn where we got big amounts of everything to eat and everything we eat is so good to me as I had been starved out so long on some bread & beef, all that we got while we were here besieging Chattanooga. up there we got sweet and Irish potatoes, chickens, molassas, wheat bread and everything that was good for a poor soldier. Oh, how I do wish that I could be at home now, for it is getting late in the evening and I have had nothing to eat since breakfast and no telling when we will get rations for our rations are out, since we left our ration wagons behind in coming here to this place, for I know you have all had a good & plentiful dinner. I know you will say poor John, but this is only a chapter in military service which we often read, but I am content and will be more so when we get rations. The independence of the bounty is what I want and I am willing to suffer for something to eat many, many days if it will only send me to my dear parents, a full and independent boy.
The enemy still holds their position in Chattanooga and our lines drawn up close around the place. We are now on the top of Lookout Mountain overlooking the town. We have a fine view of our entire line and also of theirs. It is said that we can see into five different states from our position. It is very cold up here, as cold as it is where you are in mid-winter. You must excuse this exceedingly bad letter as I have written in great haste. My love to you and all. Write when you can and a long letter as I am very anxious to hear from you.
John H. Sweet )


Thanks for taking the time to read! Hope you all enjoyed and are looking forward to the next part!

~Livi Jane

Friday, June 10, 2016

The Young Soldier - Short Story

Hey everybody!

So sorry for the delay in posting. Life this past week has been extremely busy and crazy, and I haven't found the time to get a post done.
I thought I would have time today, but alas, I woke up feeling miserable with a fever and achy throat (no fun), so I figured instead of having to think up and write a whole other post, I would just share another short story I wrote around the same time as the story Gone from my Memorial Day post. :) I really enjoyed writing this one (even though it is pretty short), so I hope you enjoy reading it!

The Young Soldier:
The steps of booted feet squish rhythmically as they march through the mud, leaving tracks one after the other. Dawn is breaking, the pinkish sky bursting forth; another day begun. Dawn, the time when everything is silent, where nothing moves, and seemingly nothing breathes.
The young soldier continues on his way, his chin lifted and handsome young face pointing towards the light of the rising sun.
He is dressed in his camouflage uniform, muddy from sleeping on the wet ground the previous night.
The rest of the men back at his camp are still asleep, savoring any amount of rest they can for the long days that lie ahead.
His destination is just ahead, a small rocky clearing, high above the ground.
Slowly, he slides into a kneeling position on the rocks and pulls his cap from his head, revealing short auburn hair that blows gently in the wind.
He bows his head and just kneels silently. One minute passes by. And then another.
It’s a sight to see, the soldier, barely a young man, just kneeling in the quiet of the dawn.
Five more tick by before he lifts his face, and gazes up at the sky. It’s beginning to turn to a blue hue, the same color as his determined eyes.
And in that moment, when everything else is completely silent, not a bird chirping or an insect buzzing, he whispers two words. Two words, full of humbleness and overflowing gratitude.
“Thank You.”
He stands, replaces his cap, and salutes.
With that final gesture, the young soldier turns and makes his way back to camp, ready for whatever this day holds for him.
While many might question his behavior, it doesn’t take much to realize what the young man is doing. The days for soldiers like him are long and seemingly endless; moments sometimes pass without even knowing if they will live to make it to the next. The fact that he woke up this morning is an incredible feat in and of itself, and he knows this.
Which is why, even as he treads back through the unknown territory, he continues to murmur under his breath prayers of thankfulness that he lived to see another sunrise. He also prays for the protection of him and the others in his unit as they go about their duties. He prays for strength, for courage, no matter what may happen.
And he knows with all of his heart that the Heavenly Father is listening.

The task ahead of you is never as great as the power behind you
"Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power."
Ephesians 6:10 

There you go! Hopefully by next week I'll be completely rested and can get back into posting more
often. :) Have a great weekend, everyone!

~Livi Jane