April 14, 2004
It’s 2030 and I’m writing this under a soft blue light so the enemy can’t easily pick up on our position. The sun’s gone down, but it’s still hot and I’m still sweating.
We’re about 500 meters from the city of Fallujah. I’m not sure what you’ve been hearing on the news, but we’ve been out here for over two weeks already and probably have another month to go. We’re making a big regimental push to the city.
When I say “here,” I mean living out of our amtracks in the desert, eating MREs, showering with baby wipes, sleeping in shifts, digging trenches to crap in, and with no clean laundry except socks, underwear, and shirts—but I can only afford to change those once a weak for fear of running out.
The frequent mortars and rockets shot at us every night are decreasing as we slowly take more and more of the city. We’re doing well—over 400 of the enemy killed and over 600 of them wounded. That count was from a couple days ago so it’s probably a lot more now. But we’re losing Marines, too. Last night, a friend of mine died and a couple more were wounded.
The nights are my favorite. I can see every star. There’s a silence in the air except for the crickets, dogs that hang around, interruptions of air to ground bombs and missiles, small arms fire, grenade explosions, and the Arabic prayer music that plays throughout the city and country. It’s beautiful, something out of the movies. I’ve had a chance everyday to talk to the locals, mostly kids. As you remember from Honduras, that’s my favorite part.
Days here are quite boring and hot, though. We fill them with chess, checkers, and cards. I can’t complain, though. Besides the boredom, I’m liking it. Don’t worry, either. God’s got my back. I don’t believe it’s in his plan for me to remain here. I have his purpose to fulfill with a long life of serving him. That’s what I believe.
I miss you and talking to you. I hope you’re doing well. How’s Sue? Tell her thanks for the card you gave me. I really enjoyed and appreciated her words. Have you looked at any land yet? I got your letter about a month ago. The courts reimbursed me and everything, huh? Awesome! Thanks again for your help that day.
It probably won’t happen, but I was thinking about extending with the next company coming out to relieve us. I have to think about my car, but the money here would be awesome.
I love you very much.
Love always, your son,
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