Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Stresses of War -- Fifth Anniversary of Iraqi Invasion

Without a doubt, what I am about to share publicly is the most personal and private thing I've yet to reveal. Many people, myself included, often try to stay aloof. We usually don't open up because we are too afraid of what others may think of us, or we're too embarrassed that we'll be ridiculed or humiliated in public or in private.

Well, with that in mind, I'm stepping outside my comfort zone in a big way to publish this letter I recently wrote to my older sister. In the letter she reminded me, in a loving way, of some silly things I did as a kid -- nothing great or malignant, just light-minded and jovial.

Perhaps what I wrote to her will give you, the reader, some small hint of an idea what things can really be like in a war zone -- even when bullets and bombs aren't flying.

A trusted friend told me recently: "Everyone can eat peanut butter but some people have a reaction to it." I guess everyone has struggles and trials and suffers in their own way. This year has been my Mount Everest obstacle, my private Gethsemane.


I received your letter today. The strain and stress I feel cannot be described. Your letters have given me great comfort and joy. I cannot thank you enough.

I have grown a lot since I was 19. I am embarrassed at the foolishness of youth I once had. I do not want to lose my cheer, but I have changed. I am often angry and depressed. When I read your letter I cried. You will never know the stress of war, and I thank God for that. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Nevertheless, your letters and the love you've shown to me in this great time of need have given me hope and have made me smile -- something I don't do much, if at all anymore. It is comforting to know that someone loves me -- that YOU love me -- enough to send me mail and think of me often.

I love you, Kim. Your kindness has meant more to me than words can ever express.

With all my love, Your little brother,


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