The Great War
written by Eileen Agas

(A letter written from a WWI German soldier to his fiancee back in Germany)
Peter: My Dearest Sophia. I swell with fear. I was naive when I entered this war. I was also selfish to think that this was my victory to win, my battle to fight, refusing to realize the whole, the men with their reasons for enlisting in this war. The battles were short, lasting but hours, though seeming like days and even years. The anticipation of the first shot to be expelled from the enemies gun is enough to drive a man insane. The mustard gas meant for the other side must be jettisoned with perfection, for if the wind were to shift, it would be my fate. I sit here cold as the night, men surrounding me, smelling of an odor I can't explain, and crawling with lice. They sleep not knowing when they will be awakened, but are still prepared to fight. I don't understand how men can sleep with loaded machines guns next to them. I keep my dagger close in the event of an enemy storming my territory. The trenches are only but three feet wide, tall men are cramped together, forced to cram like animals. As I lay in my hiding spot, I take off my helmet and admire the spike on top, symbolizing the strength Germany thinks it has. I am no longer the man you knew, my ideals of the glory of war are no longer praised, but instead I condemn the war and all it has shown me. I am left in despair, a broken man not worthy of the love of a women, but instead damned to a hell inside his own mind. What we had is lost and I am dead. Marry another. Private Peter von Verdenan of the 117th Regiment.

Kudos and much thanks go to Eileen for this monologue, it is very much appreciated.

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