Letters Home - Guardian 02 Dec


It is nearly four years since the invasion of Iraq and the bloodshed on the streets is worse than ever. As a timetable emerges for the withdrawal of British troops, we publish extracts from soldiers' letters and emails home, spanning the whole of the war, that reveal the reality of life on the frontline.

Sergeant said:
Hey DD, I am sorry to hear that the news worries you so much and that you don't sleep so good. I had to make a decision whether i should tel the truth or hide what i feel and i remember what you said that you wanted to hear it the way it was so that's what i do.

I DO miss you so much and yes i cry too. We hit a place last night and two of the boys got hurt one won't make it but the other will. It is hard to keep going and then reading what the press say about us like how we're bad and do bad things, they should come here and smell their friends burning flesh and hear the screaming and then we'd see if they are so good then. I ain't no ****ing saint but when they hit yours and hurt yours you want to get the ******* and make them pay. I don't hurt civies but when we find the terrys we slot them good. To see kids maimed and scared to go out on patrol, lose their mates and still have to go out there, with crap kit too ...

I wanna come home, I wanna hold you in my arms and hear you tell me I don't have to fight no more, tell me I'm safe and most of all I want those dreams to stop, those sounds of screaming and that smell of death I want it all to stop.

I gotta go babe before my mind does one.


Summer 2006: an injured soldier dictates a note to his wife, knowing he is not going to survive
An Infantryman said:
To my most beautiful *******

I am sorry to say that I must break my promise and not come back to you. Jaz is writing this for me and he will hand it to you in person. We have only been married such a short time compared to most and I know you and the kids will miss me but please remember what I said about death. I will always be there with you, always looking after you and smiling at you always.

Tell the kids to look after you and each other and to be brave and that daddy loves them so very much and a HUGE kiss for them both.

To you my sweet lady I thank you for each moment we had together, the laughter we had and the love we have always shared. Remember me but don't mourn me, celebrate what we had. Got to go, I'll be in the mountains where I belong.

Your man Billy

Very sobering.

Apologies if this has also been posted elsewhere - couldn't see it.

Link to full article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/military/story/0,,1961086,00.html


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