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Helen C. Downey

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The War
by Helen C. Downey   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, April 02, 2006
Posted: Sunday, April 02, 2006

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Sometimes young adults view the word differently.

The War

(Through the eyes of a young woman in the late 1960’s)

The war was very real to me now. Too many neighbors and friends were going off to training camp then being shipped over to Vietnam…a war that should have ended many moons ago, but it still remained for political reasons. By this time in the war there were neither rhyme nor reason why the Americans were in this hell hole. Bodies dropped by the thousands…everyone was killing everyone; it didn’t seem to matter who they were. The soldier was trained as if a killing machine and they did their job well with honors. It took a lot of guts for those young boys to get out in that battle field where leeches crawled upon you, unknown insects poisoned them, or they were struck with malaria…that is if they weren’t killed by the speed of a bullet first.

There wasn’t much young girls could do in the states to help except one thing…write to the soldiers, no matter who they were, to give them moral support. I started a letter exchange group in the local Red Cross in my high school. It was greatly appreciated. Those young men waited eagerly to hear from the other side of the world, maybe not from their home town, but from another human that cared that they were alive. The guys would pour out there soul about the conditions of the weather over there, food that they received from us, and how much they wanted to get home. Some never made, but those that did sent us many thanks for getting them through the tough times. We weren’t there to feel their pain and loneliness, or to see their physical wounds, but we felt it in our hearts through their words. I was glad that I wrote to many and most of them came back home.


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Reviewed by Chrissy McVay 4/2/2006
Thanks for sharing this memory. In a letter recently I received from a young soldier in Iraq he said the words 'It's not like the movies, or anything you've ever seen, this blood is real!' That gave me an idea, but I'll never have the true, vivid picture that he's experiencing...
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