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Dear Jack,


Returning to base at the end of the day was without a doubt the best feeling ever. It was always a good feeling to make it back and know that I had survived yet another day, that every single member of my team and my fellow soldiers had made it back safe. I had been in the air all day transporting supplies to soldiers on the ground in other camps outside of the base. These guys were constantly on the move, so it was hard for them to recieve the right supplies without being targeted by rival troops. Today the atmosphere had been hot as hell and the heat was ten times worse in the cockpit of my chopper. It was almost too hard to breath in the humidity that was around me. I much preferred the times when I was stationed on a base. It made a difference from being up in the air, that's for sure. When stationed on a base, you were usually always on the move, and always on the lookout for new and exsisting threats. Its not all bad though, every few weeks the teams are rotated to make sure that everyone got some rest.

“Barakat,” one of the guys on my team called out once I had stepped out of the mess hall where half a dozen of my fellow soldiers and friends were eating their daily meal. “You got some post through. I just left it on your bunk.” I nodded a quick thanks to him and watched as he casually retreated from the door that leads to the bunk area and towards the mess hall.

For any soldier, getting post was always such a nice thing to have happen. It was a nice form of contact from home, the world outside the bubble that all soldiers who had been deployed found themselves in. It was always nice to hear some sort of news from home even if it was a few weeks old. All of our post had to go through so many security checks and since we were always on the move our post was first sent to our barracks at home before being sent out to us. My Mom, bless her heart, always did her best to write to me every few weeks. I would get whole a bunch of letters from her, telling me about what had happened with the family at home. My friends were good at writing at times too. They kept me up to date on all the fun that I was missing out on at home. Although they all try their best, it just wasn’t the same as getting those letters from that special someone in your life. Those were the best kind of letters and in all honesty, I missed recieving them. It made you feel so warm and special knowing that someone missed you just as much as you missed them. I didn’t have that anymore.

As I stepped into the bunk area, I carefully navigated my way round the backpacks that had somehow been pulled out from beneath the neighbouring beds and over to my own where I noticed the neat little stack of letters sitting upon my pillow. Without even taking the time to fully acknowledge the handwriting, I could tell that there was one from my Mom, one from my friend Danny and one from someone new. It took me a little while to think of who the last one was from before it came to me. I had almost completely forgotten that I had agreed to be included in this letter writing thing. Weeks ago my commanding officer came to me asking for a huge favour. You see, his younger brother is a lecturer at Towson University and he needed one last “guinea pig” to participate in his student’s assignment. I had been informed that each student had to write letters to complete strangers and try to learn something about them. I owed my C.O since he had let me into his office, where there was a proper internet connection, to Skype my family after my sister had twins. Sure, we had computers in the common room but they were always in such high demand and the internet connection was average at the best of times. I couldn’t exactly say no to him after that.

Kicking back on my bunk, I get comfortable before preparing to read my letters. First, I read the one that my mom sent. She filled me in on all the things that had happened ever since she last wrote to me. She even included photos of my nephew Collin and my niece Callie. They were still tiny looking but so cute. I could tell that they were both set to inherit the dark brown Barakat hair as both babies had a tuft of it already. With a smile, I placed the photos on the bed beside me before turning my attention to the next letter in the pile.

Danny was quick to fill me in on what he had been up to. Even though he had a Masters Degree in Business and Management he was taking what he liked to call a “career break” and was spending some time working as a guitar tech. He’d had it lucky as he was currently teching for Fall Out Boy on their current U.S. and European tour. Needless to say there were many stories told within that letter which made me chuckle under my breath.

Setting aside Danny's letter, I focused my thoughts and attention on the last letter in the pile; recieved from the new person. I took my time opening it. This letter would give me the first taste and insight of what is about to be expected of me as well as giving me an indication on what to include within my own letters. In all honesty, I wasn't sure what to expect. I knew that the student was called Alex and that he was a student at Towson University but...apart from that I knew nothing about the boy who I would be writing to. As I let my eyes scan across the page, I couldn't help but notice certain similarities between him and myself when I was his age.

Dear Alex,

I would like to start off this letter by saying thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to write to me, even if it is for a school assignment. Being out here, away from family and friends is hard and its always nice to have some form of contact with someone who doesn't have any connection to what is going on out here. It's hard to be away from the ones that you love, but recieving letters from them, it makes you feel somewhat connected to them still. Its a good feeling to be sent letters from family or friends and know that they're thinking of you but...I have often wondered what it would be like to recieve some mail from a complete stranger; which is probably why I really agreed to take part in this letter exchange.

I guess that I should probably introduce myself to you - I'm Jack Barakat, but you can just call me Jack. I'm twenty-one years of age and I'm a soldier serving for the U.S Army. At this current moment in time, I'm one of the troops fighting in Afghan War. Well, I wouldn't say that I'm actually doing any of the fighting, but I am the one who flies the supplies to the troops in other bases, so I guess that you could say my job is important. Every few weeks, I get swapped around to take part in other duties, but I have to say that flying the supplies around is probably the best part; it gives you satisfaction to know that you're helping out other people who are in the same situation as yourself.

Teacher's can be mean like that, making you read stuff out. If I was in your class, I would of applauded your effort - it actually sounds like a poem that I'd read! You should of made him make one up on the spot, to show you all just how easy it is, but then again he could of just thought of one that he knew off by heart so that would have backfired on you.

I don't think that you're weird at all. I actually agree with you, writing like this can be rather relaxing. William Wordsworth once said that you should fill the paper with the breathing of your heart. When I was at high school and studying English, we were told to write a paper about him to really study his work; I didn't really understand most of it, mainly due to not really paying all that much attention, but I do now. I can see the point that he was making and its made me prefer writing a letter, or anything for that matter, by hand as it makes it just a touch more personal...Don't you think?

I suppose that doesn't sound too painful. Although, I'm not going to lie, my story probably isn't all that interesting but I'll let you be the judge of that. I'm of a Lebanese descent although I'm American born and raised, I grew up in a town called Lutherville-Timonium, Baltimore. I attended Dulaney High School and graduated (much to the shock of everyone of the teachers there, as well as a couple of the students) with a Music degree. I play the guitar and I'm a big music fan too. Going by the two bands that you just listed, I can tell that we'll get along just fine. I mainly listen to the pop-punk type stuff. Blink 182 are my idols, music wise; enough so that I got the Blink bunny tattooed at the top of my left arm (do you reckon that would be classed as obbsession?)

That's probably enough about me for now...I don't want to overload you on information so I'll ask you a few questions. What part of Baltimore are you in? (I'm going to guess Towson seeing as you're at the University there). What do you like about living there? Do you hang round with many people? What's your favourite film?

I apologise if this letter is a little too long, I'll try to hold back on my ramblings in the future. I look forward to hearing back from you.

- Jack

Setting down my pen on the table beside me, I let a smile fall across my lips. Sure, after reading it back I was aware that it wasn't exactly the best response ever, but it'll do. It at least covers all the basic details about myself which gives Alex an initial starting point for his presentation. Looking down at the watch that was strapped to my wrist, I quickly stuff the letter into an empty envelope and hastily write down the required information. If I was quick, I could still make the last post out, and get this letter sent off tonight. As I was walking, I couldn't help but wonder what kind of person Alex was, sure he had a great sense in music, but what sort of student was he? Was he one of those students that liked to work hard for his degree, or was he the kinda student that got into trouble often for not putting in the effort? Hell, he could even be a bit of both for all I know.

What I do know for sure though is that I'm going to enjoy writing to Alex; it could turn out to be a rather interesting distraction from Military life. Recieving letters from Alex will give me something good to look forward to when I'm not shipping out supplies as well as it being a good distraction to keep my mind off of the fear and paranoia that comes with the life of being an American soldier.


Thank you all so much for your amazing support on this fic! It's only just getting started but I'm amazed at how many people have read, subscribed and commented it already - you are all amazing, thank you! It really means a lot :D
- SoWrongItsLottie


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EarthToLottie; EarthToLottie;

i miss this story so much

JalexInMyButt JalexInMyButt


AllTimeSlut AllTimeSlut


Well, thank you :D

@Dean Winchester;
Yaaay! :D This story is awesome, by the way.

MakeMeLoveATL MakeMeLoveATL