In the opening of the letter the writer immediately expresses his concerns about his boys, later identified as the men in the platoon that he leads, and he regrets and feels some shame that he is not with them. It can be imagined that the writer?s reference that the boys are fighting like hell is a literal one, the war Europe was non-stop and it?s assumed his platoon was fighting the war without him.
His condition had become not only a physical discomfort but was causing him to feel guilt from being away from his troops, and he expresses this discomfort in being away from them at a time when they need him. It seems also that the writer feels he has an obligation to live up the merits due an officer rank as he claims to be a platoon leader of a machine gun unit, no doubt he feels officers shouldn?t be getting sick especially in the middle of a war.
?The writer explains in his letter to his girlfriend that the reason that he is away from his platoon is that he is suffering regularly from bouts of headaches that seem to be getting worse as time goes by. He then reveals to her that he had been having these types of headaches before he left for overseas but didn?t mention them to her at the time. The writer also seems to be suffering from acute intestinal or some kind of stomach disorder as well. The causes of his headaches are undetermined and he undergoes various tests, and visits a few doctors at four different hospitals but they can?t seem to find the cause or reason for his headaches. His headaches and stomach ailment may be related as he claims his headache goes away when he loses (vomits) everything in his stomach and then sleeps. ?I suspect these headaches and stomach problems may be caused by stress from being away from his wife, his platoon and from the exposure to war.
The writer seems like a considerate person as he tries to comfort his wife in his letter, making light of his condition by jokingly explaining his experience with the x-ray tests he went through. He explains that the x-rays of his sinus, stomach and skull area all show negative, not even a brain! He then reassures her that nothing is wrong with him and that he should be getting back to his unit soon if the doctors will release him.
Now the real crux of the letter is revealed when the writer now asks his wife if she has done anything while he was away that ?wasn?t right??, and to stress his strong desire to know he calls her by name, Barbie. He then begins to express his paranoid concerns about her cheating on him and pleads with her to confirm or deny his fears, even if it is true he begs with her to tell him.? His paranoid worries seem to originate from stories going around that the soldiers wives are roving around with the boys back home, and he expresses his jealous concern trying to reason with her that both of them would never think of sexual relations or any type of relations as long as they are apart.
No, doubt the distance between them along with the stories of cheating wives and exposure to war has gripped the writer with jealousy, which compels me to consider how the writer?s expressions of jealousy in his letter could be found in a similar letter in our time.?
It is hard to discern much about the war from this letter other than how the war was having a negative effect on relationships caused by spouses being separated for long periods of time, or permanently by death. In war nothing else matter for those fighting except life and hope for a life with a future free from war. The only thing that I can imagine that men fight for in war is the love of their wives, and not doubt that that love was what they were really fighting for in the end.?
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