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Dear Jack,


You know, I have always heard it said in old movies that ‘war is hell’, but it’s not until now that I’ve really taken the time to consider just how true it is. After two weeks of relatively peaceful patrol; flying the usual supplies to other soldiers who were out on a mission, the base camp was targeted by a group of local terrorists who struck the troops with gunfire. Shots were being fired from all directions; the soldiers who were taken off guard dived for any kind of cover that they could find whilst trying to figure out a way to defend themselves. Those that were out on patrol at the time, shot back with all that they had. This went on for at least two hours, every day for the past week. Luckily, every one of the troops that had been staying at the base camp came away from the attacks unharmed. The attacks couldn’t have come at a worse time, most of the troops were starting to pack up to head home for leave for a few weeks, myself included, but due to the unforeseen attacks, our schedules had to be rearranged.

After two days of keeping watch, there didn’t seem to be any sign of another attack coming our way, but that didn’t mean that we were able to bring down our defences just yet. The pilots, myself included, were instructed to keep to the ground for the next couple of days, to let the dust settle some more, but the troops in other camps were running out of supplies and running out fast. Our camp wasn’t the only one to have been hit. Soldiers further in the field, were being targeted at every given opportunity, the attackers not even giving them time to rest and reload their weapons. Everyone knows that it’s time to act, that it’s time to get the supplies out to the other camps before anything else can happen, but not knowing when the next attack is going to be, there’s a high possibility that the supplies won’t reach the other soldiers without anyone getting injured, or even worse, blown up.

Of course it was a risky operation, and to tell you the truth hardly any of the pilots wanted to be the one to fly the necessary supplies to the other camps whilst they were being attacked, I couldn’t blame them either but I also understood where they were coming from. Each and every single pilot that we had here in this camp, they had a family of their own to get home alive to. Most of them had little children as young at three waiting for Daddy to come home from serving his country. That’s why I volunteered to be the one to take the supplies to the other campsites.

I know that I have a mother and father as well as a sister and a brother waiting for me to return home from this trip, but here at camp, near enough every Soldier here has that to go home to, well minus a few exceptions. I didn’t exactly have a family of my own to lose, I didn’t have the love of my life waiting for me to return, I didn’t have any children. Compared to a majority of the soldiers here, I had a lot less to lose than them. This is why I took on the duty of flying the supplies over to the other soldiers. As I walk over to the grand piece of machinery that stood four feet in front of me, I sent out a silent prayer that it will remain peaceful for a while longer.
I clutched at my left shoulder in agony as I stagger into the tent where all of the makeshift beds were kept. I take a few small breaths, trying not to focus on the pain that is coursing through my body right now as I make my way over to my own bed, grateful for the fact that he was near the entrance, carefully lying down onto it, letting out a low groan as I try not to shift my arm too much. In all honesty, volunteering to take the supplies over to the other soldiers was most probably the stupidest thing that I could ever have done and yet, it was also the most exhilarating.

Everything was going according to schedule; I had managed to successfully deliver the necessary supplies without any trouble but like I had feared, it didn’t last. It was as I was taking off from the last base camp that things started to go wrong. As soon as I was in the air, my aircraft was struck with gunfire, I couldn’t see anyone down on the ground, but I was certain that they were close. My hands were starting to shake as I gripped the aircraft controller tighter, my breathing was coming out rapidly as I steered the aircraft to the left, just in time to dodge another round of gunfire. A few seconds later, there was another round being fired, one which I wasn’t quick enough to dodge. Shards of the aircraft side window started to fly in all directions, one piece embedding itself into my cheek as I try to cover myself. In the air, I was deemed utterly helpless. There was no one up here to help me and there was still quite a way to go until I was back at my own base camp.

Everything was going by in a complete blur, gunfire was striking the side of the aircraft at a face pace, the controller in my hands had decided to cut out, there was pain coursing all throughout my body as I was thrown around the confined space that I was sat within. Grabbing my radio, I tried to contact my commanding officer, but nothing in the pit was working. There’s no denying it, I was absolutely petrified by this point but the next thing I know, the aircraft was on the ground and I was being thrown through the front windscreen, two feet from the base’s runway.

Lying on my bunk, I close my eyes and take in a deep breath before releasing it slowly, trying to control the amount of pain that was going through my body. I have just survived an open attack whilst fulfilling my appointed duty of delivering supplies. I know that I should be freaking out and panicking right now but my heart is pumping too fast to even contemplate the action, the tears that had built up in my eyes won’t even fall as I lay down, looking up at the tents ceiling, my breathing fighting hard to return to a much more normal pace.

I’m not sure how much time had passed since I closed my eyes, but the next thing I know, I’m being shaken awake by a fellow soldier who I’ve gotten to know quite well over the past year, Matthew James Flyzik. I could tell by the look in his eye that he knew what had happened, I could tell by the way his eyes moved from the cut on my cheek to the way that I was holding my shoulder, but he didn’t say anything.

Matthew James Flyzik, I have grown to realise, is a man of very few words. He may not talk a lot but he makes up for that by his fierce loyalty and shining personality. He was one of the very first men that I had met when I signed up for the army and we’ve been friends ever since. I think that it helped to find out that he was from the same area as me, when we had some off time at home, we often met up for a drink or to watch a game of football. It was hard for me to get close to him at the start of our troop training, knowing rightly what we were about to step into, scared that I’d lose him during a random attack, not ready to lose anyone else just yet, at least not so soon after I’d lost my special someone.

“The Commanding Officer wants to see you in his office…though I think that you should head over to the infirmary after, you look like hell.” Matthew smiled lightly as the look of sympathy filled his eyes.

I didn’t reply with words, I just shook my head at him, hoping that he’d understand that I’m okay, that I don’t need to go to the infirmary. I know that I probably should, but if I do then that would just show the other soldiers that I had a hint of weakness surrounding me, which I absolutely refuse to show. After a pleading look from Matthew, I let out a sigh and sit up awkwardly, a low almost inaudible groan escaping from my lips causing Matthew to place a hand on my shoulder.

“I’m alright. I just need to rest a little, that’s all…Don’t worry.” I reassure him as I get up from my bunk, not letting any discomfort show in my expression even though inside my mind I was screaming in agony.

Making my way out of the bunker tent, I could sense that Matthew was behind me, probably making sure that I got to the Commanding Officer’s office without passing out but I’m glad that he was walking with me, even if he was a few steps behind me, it gave me a sense of comfort to know that I’m not going to be alone when facing our Commanding Officer. Taking in a deep breath, I straighten myself up as best as I could and knock on the door lightly before stepping into what I can only fear as a conversation that will heavily involve shouting; and all from the Commanding Officer.
Walking out of the Commanding Officer’s office half an hour later was a relief to say the least. I hadn’t been shouted at, which I guess could be taken as a good thing, but the hard expression that was on his face, was unreadable so I didn’t know what he was thinking.

After being ordered to tell him everything that had happened on the flight back from dropping off supplies, he thanked me and told me to head to the infirmary to get cleaned up. A course of action was to be taken immediately regarding the pilots. I knew what he was going to say even before he said it, but I listened to him in any case. All flights are to be cancelled for the next week, to give the troops that were getting ready to move out a chance to locate where the enemy was hiding.

I wasn’t going to complain about the Commanding Officer’s choice of cancelling the flights as it did give me some time to recover from today because let’s face it, Matthew was right, I look like hell and I feel a lot like it too. I wanted to be at full strength for when the pilots took to the air again as so after a quick trip to the infirmary to get cleaned up, I headed into the canteen area and picked up some dinner. Standing in the small line, I was handed a pile of letters (written by my Mother, Alex and Danny) from one of the senior troops, Colussy. Apparently, the aircraft carrying these letters was the only one to make it through without being targeted by the enemy. Nodding my thanks to him, I stuffed the letters in my belt and quickly picked up my dinner tray.

It didn’t take me long to finish eating, I wasn’t entirely that hungry so left half of it untouched. I have to hand it to the cooks here though, they can think of some rather unusual meals from very little stock. Taking my tray over to the cleaning area, I placed it down and went back to the bunks, it was starting to get dark and I wanted to get the new letters written before nightfall was truly upon the camp.
Dear Alex,

The story about your Grandma and Grandpa is really sweet, I love how people can build up a strong relationship by sending letters to each other and I do apologise if this letter has taken a little longer than the others to get to you (I sincerely hope that it hasn’t affected the progress of your assignment in any way) but we were recently faced with a little trouble at our base camp. I’m not entirely sure how much that I can actually tell you about what happened without getting myself into any trouble, but I think that it’s important to state, it’s important for you to know, that everyone that was at base camp at the time of the attacks, made it out alive and without gaining any injuries.

Wow…I seriously intrigue you? Well, I have to say that no one has ever said that to me before as I’m probably one of the most uninteresting people ever! Although, I’m not going to lie even though this is for your English assignment, I do actually look forward to receiving your letters; it gives me an insight of the person who I’m describing my life to and to who I hope, that I could get to know just as well.

It’s not actually that unusual to see a twenty-one year old in the army, there are a few soldiers here that are barely older than eighteen; all of them wanting to fight for their president, their communities, their country – the same reason that most of the soldiers are here. Although, some of them have come straight from college because they didn’t know what else to do, while others are here because they want to feel needed for once in their lives. I feel the need to point out that the last one definitely isn’t about me although I did sign up not too long after I graduated.

Dedication of the highest form…I like the sound of that! It makes me feel even more proud of my tattoo and love for one of the greatest bands to ever grace our ears. That doesn’t really surprise me that there isn’t many people around Baltimore that like the same music, it was the same when I was there growing up, because of that very reasons I was kind of labelled as the weird kid with the awful music taste (it was actually everyone else with the bad taste in music, at least in my eyes!).

You don’t need to apologize, after all I am obligated to tell you everything…but I guess that on some level, it does seem a little weird that I would join the army instead of gaining a career with a Music Degree, you’re right about that but when I successfully got the degree; I had to start thinking realistically. Sure, I wasn’t bad at playing Music (at least, I didn’t think that I was that bad), but there was never a sure possibility that I would be able to do anything musically related once I left University. Music is and will always be of major importance to me, it’s what gets me through each day but I just thought that I should focus on something that was a little more different than what I was used to, to set myself up with a couple of new challenges and this right now, is probably one of the biggest challenges that I’ve been faced with…The signing up for the army, not the letter writing.

Why would you say that you’re a complicated person? No one is really complicated; they just have different experiences that make them stand out against other people. It’s like the saying ‘nobody’s perfect, but if you find perfection in an imperfect person, then that makes them the perfect person for you’. I don’t really know if many people actually believe that, but I like to think that it’s true.

You have some very good answers, Mr. Gaskarth it’s going to be kind of hard for me to match them. I’ll start it off with my favourite movie as I don’t even need time to think about that question; Home Alone, without a shadow of a doubt. I seriously think that I’ve watched it around two / three thousand times, no lie. You know, when I was growing up, I always wanted to be exactly like Kevin McCallister. That kid had it all, a big house, and not to mention a cool family. I don’t know why but no movie can top that one, at least not in my eyes anyway.

Yes, I do have siblings! I have an older brother called Joe and an older sister called May. I would definitely say that I was close to them even though they’re both older than me they were the ones to look out for me when I was younger. I seriously love them to pieces and I’m grateful that they supported me in every decision that I made even when no one else did. I couldn’t ask for better people to be related to. What about you? Do you have any siblings?

You don’t know how happy I am that you asked me a sports question! It makes me even happier to know that you actually support the very same football team as myself; the mighty Baltimore Ravens! They’ve had quite a tough few seasons, but they’ve actually been playing really well so far. Joe Flacco and Ray Rice – what an amazing duo, the Steelers really don’t stand a chance against them especially if you include the newest rookie, Tyrod Taylor!

I want to thank you for those questions as they really have given me something to think about and taken my mind off of the things that are happening around here at the moment. If you’re interested in knowing some more about me, or want to make your presentation a little bit different, I should be home in a few weeks’ time so perhaps we could meet up for a coffee and do a little video interview. It’s entirely up to you though it would be awesome to meet the person behind the letters. Let me know in your next letter.

- Jack.

By the time that I signed my name at the bottom of the letter, nightfall was covering the camp. The last hint of sunshine had disappeared little over an hour ago and most of the troops had headed into the bunk area. Most of the soldiers were dreary from the day’s patrol; others were just feeling paranoid about being attacked again. But assuming that everything went according to plan most of the soldiers myself and Matthew included would be able to head home in a few weeks’ time. It wasn’t completely set in stone and of course our plans could change causing us to stay for duty a little while longer, but the idea of being at home with our loved ones in a safe environment, not having to worry at being shot at all the time, brought comfort to everyone. Plus, if there was a slim chance that I would be able to get home and meet up with the person that I’m writing to then I’m going to take it and enjoy it.

I quickly read through my response one more time before letting out a sigh and turning off the miniscule lamp. In all honesty, I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to mention that we had hit a little trouble at base, I didn’t know how much information we were allowed to give out but Alex expects me to tell him everything about being a soldier, and in a sense, the recent attacks were all a part of it. I didn’t mention anything about the enemy or where the attacks had taken place but I made sure to tell him as much as I could as with the way things were going at the moment; I wasn’t sure when I was going to be able to receive Alex’s next letter.


*This is the account to follow for new updates!*

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