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July 28, 1917

 Dear Journal,

 

 My name is Taylor Anderson and I am 22 years old. This is my first week as a nurse during the war. United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917 and I wanted to help in the war in any way possible. I felt that joining the war effort as a nurse would be the best thing I could do, and so I did. I enlisted in the Red Cross only about two weeks ago and here I am today. I am proud to be an American and I want to make some sort of difference in my country. The Red Cross chose for me to go to the western front. Life on the Western Front, caring for these men is very different then back at home. I have only been here 4 days and still I have seen some pretty gruesome things. These poor soldiers are going through so much for our country. It is quite inspiring. They are only boys or young men around 19 years old yet still they have so much either patriotism or pride. I don’t know which. Whatever it is they never seem to complain. Although I got some training nothing can prepare one for the kind of things you see out here. In training you have all the time in the world, but here time is precious and must not be wasted. We have to make hasty decisions on a human’s life. It is horrible, we don’t even know these boys and I know it should stay that way but I couldn’t help getting attached to this one boy. He was about 18 years old and his name was Christopher. His leg was hit in an attack and sadly we had to amputate his leg. He was so young and having his leg amputated really got to him. He ended up not making it. It was horrible and yet I know I am going to see death every day here. I just need to keep these poor boys in my prayers.

 

August 15, 1917

 Dear Journal,

 

 Today was very hectic as I’m learning most days are. I’m glad to have a rest for a little while. We had more patients then usual today which means more injuries, more pain, and more death. I have grown accustomed to seeing the blood, bones popping out, and arms, fingers, or legs missing. Everyday is a new experience and everyday I learn something new. The Red Cross sent us a few new recruits today. They are younger and have little experience but they are nice and are willing to help in any way possible. One of the new recruits is especially sweet and we have become good friends. Her name is Sara. I have tried to take her under my wing and show her around. She missed her family dearly. They are back in Tennessee. Her brother Ross is out there fighting and he is the reason she decided to join the war effort. Hearing her reasons for joining the war makes me think of how I felt when I enlisted. Although it was only roughly a month ago I have already changed so much. Then I was so innocent and happy and although I remain happy my spirit has change so much. I believe I am still happy because I know I am doing the right thing by helping these boys out here in the war. But war is not what anybody thinks it is; it is worse. I pray to God that no one will ever have to see or go through what these boys and I have seen and experienced.

 

 

August 31, 1917

 Dear Journal,

 

 Wow, today was a special day. I was lucky enough to receive a care package from my family. It wasn’t first mail I have received but it certainly was special. Everybody back in Rhode Island is doing well and it sounds as if they miss me very much. I miss them so badly and hope the day where I can see them again comes soon. Today I had a new patient who was a former prisoner of war. He had been captured by the Japanese but we thankfully rescued the whole camp just recently. He was treated horribly there and was brought in malnourished. I was responsible for caring for him and getting him back up to the health he needed so he could return and fight again. Many of the others who were imprisoned are being sent home but this boy will unfortunately not be. He was not hurt badly enough to be sent home so he might just spend some time on leave then return to the front. The poor boy was obviously scarred by his experiences in the prison camps and had many horrible stories to share with me. I tried to listen but it was hard to hear some of the things he was telling me. I was not used to hearing these things because most of these boys don’t speak of the things out on the front and if they do there is absolutely no detail. Maybe speaking about his experiences helped him to get through them. If this is true then I am happy to be able to help him get through it.

 

 

 

September 22, 1917

 Dear Journal

 

 Today was somewhat of a normal day. I went through my normal routine including checking on the status of my patients, checking in some new patients, and assisting with a minor surgery. The surgery went as planned. It was another leg amputation. We seem to be doing so many of those lately. It truly is sad. Sometimes the soldiers don’t even know that they are having it amputated until after it is off. It is horrible to see this because it puts them in such despair. They sometimes lose all hope completely. On a better note, I wrote a few letters home today. I haven’t had any time to write to anyone but my family and so today I wrote to a couple of my friends and another to my family. I miss them so much but tried to keep my spirits high in my letters. In the letters I told them that I was well and the boys are doing great in the war over here. This is true yet I do not really see enough of it. Here in the hospital you tend to see the worse of things. I get to see the blood, pain, and suffering. No matter what these boys go through they never seem to give up. It is inspiring. You can’t help thinking the best when these boys who see so much suffering remain strong. I have continued to pray for these boys and have asked all my friends and family to keep the boys in their prayers. I’m doing pretty good out here but there’s one thing I truly miss and that is my mothers cooking. My mouth is watering just thinking about the smells of the kitchen as she cooks a homemade meal. I try and pretend that food out here is good but I just can’t do it. We have the same plain meals everyday. I know I should not be complaining because the soldiers are even worse off. Well I will remain to keep everyone in my prayers.

 

 

 

 

 

October 15, 1917

 Dear Journal,

 

 Wow there is so much news I don’t even know how to put it into words. Just a little while ago the days seemed so busy with many wounded soldiers but lately everything seems much better. We have been getting less serious wounds and from what I have heard the end seems near. This is exactly what I have been praying for, for so long. They say an armistice could come by the end of the year or even sooner! Praise be to God. With the war coming to an end it seems as if I will be sent home soon. I am so excited, I can’t even wait. I’ll get to see my wonderful family once again and everything will go back to normal. I know it is not realistic to truly think that anything will ever go back to normal again but one can dream. With all the things I have seen in this war I will never be able to think the same again. I am wiser and more mature now and have learned so much about the world. I’m proud of what I have accomplished and learned. But I am ready to go home and start a new life. These memories will be with me for life and I will be a better person because of them. I want to thank God for helping us win the war and I know all of our success and protection was thanks to him.

  

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