Dear America Edithed By Bernard Edelman

1518 words - 7 pages

Edited by Bernard Edelman, “Dear America” is a collection of letters written by soldiers during the Vietnam War. Their letters are written to love ones back home such as parents, siblings, and spouses but they are a great depiction of the Vietnam War. The soldiers would write these letters to help keep hope alive and to keep sane. Throughout the book the letters are categorize into those who are barely arriving into the war to those who have been there a long time. The stress and anxiety grows more and more as the letters continue and the soldiers begin to contemplate their situation. I’ve learned a lot of factual things about the Vietnam War throughout my life such as how it began and what ...view middle of the document...

The soldiers felt confident and reassured their families but reality kicked in and most ended up dead. Ransom letter showed me how the United States sends people to war without them realizing what their getting themselves into. They are only told what they need to know and not what they should know. During this time, the beginning of the war, America joined the war to stop the spread of communism and this was pretty much all the soldiers were told.
The infantry soldiers of the war the wised up to their situation wrote many interesting letters. These “grunts” knew what they got themselves into and their letters reflect this. Most of them wrote letters home the described their everyday routing during the war. Back at home a lot of pressure was being put on politicians to end the war. Unlike previous wars many believed this wasn’t their place and believed America shouldn’t have gotten involved. The letters sent home during this time was a way to persuade people to fight to end the war. Although, not as important as other things the letters sent during this time are still important as they describe the reality of the Vietnam War. One of these letters was very detailed and describes what was important to him even if it wasn’t important to others. Cameron MacDonald wrote this letter while in Vietnam in October 1968. MacDonald begins his letter to his mom stating, “We’ve been running around these mountains every day without a break.” He starts the letter by expressing something that is very important that most people don’t talk about; the fatigue from walking. The constant walking soldiers must endure during war is something most don’t talk about and MacDonald starts his letter by bluntly pointing this out. He later explains about finding a large weapon during a patrol and having into taken back by a helicopter. MacDonald then says, “That all sounds quite simple, but the whole thing took four days.” Once again he bluntly states how hard simple things actually are. This is the reason why I liked his letter as most of the other letters would brush things off as if they were easy but MacDonald would clearly state how rough things were. Afterwards he explains in detail how hard getting the weapons on the helicopter really was. Being hungry and tired and always on your toes can be exhausting and MacDonald isn’t afraid to to tell his mother his. He explains to his mom how his squad is being killed and how few of them are left and later states again how tired he is of walking. At the end he states again, “I sure am getting tired, Humping these mountains is bad news.” I think this is the reason why war is taken so lightly as the people who experienced it don’t share the real cruelty they experienced. Most letters try to sugar coat what they are experiencing as to not worry their love ones. However, MacDonald wasn’t afraid to tell his mom how he really felt and this makes it my favorite letter and am glad he lived.
Later on in the book the mental exhaustion...

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